Target Hit by Computer Glitch, Causing Panic as Customers Can't Use Check Out

Target customers were sent into a frenzy on Saturday after a nationwide system glitch led to long checkout lines. Shoppers were unable to make purchases as a result of the issue, according to a tweet from Target.

The store tweeted that teams across the country were working to resolve the issue on Saturday afternoon. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the problem, or when it was expected to be fixed.

The Dallas Morning News reported that by 1:30 p.m. local lines at a Target in Dallas had begun moving. Workers reportedly started manually entering barcode numbers at registers. Maggie McLean, a local resident, told the outlet she entered a Northeast Dallas Target with her 6-year-old daughters when the store announced that scanners weren't functioning.

She decided to "slow walk" around the store, looking at different things, in the hope that the problem would be fixed by the time they were ready to check out. The store was still recovering from a power outage following a major storm on Sunday, according to the newspaper.

"We looked at a lot of things and the girls got to get a toy, Barbie stuff," McLean told the Dallas Morning News. "We're going to go to another store for all our cold stuff."

McLean said she was looking at Facebook while waiting in line at the Target. A friend from Pennsylvania posted that she was also waiting in a long line at Target.

"I messaged her," she said.

Target employees were helping people checkout, while others walked around the store collecting carts that had been abandoned by shoppers deterred by the outage.

Social media was flooded with Target shoppers sharing their experiences. One said that employees started handing out snacks and coupons at her local Target to help customers with their wait.`

The Target glitch appeared to involve the scanner system, and affected most — if not all — the chain's 2,000 stores in the United States. A similar, but much more serious, issue occurred five years ago. It led to unauthorized access to the payment information of customers, and lowered Target's fourth quarter sales.


Following the breach, 22 percent fewer households said they shopped at Target between January 2013 and January 2014, according to a KantarRetail survey.

"While the breach caused an immediate blow to sales and will affect traffic for some time to come, it also exposed the larger longstanding issue of Target's fragile relationship with its less-engaged guests,"KantarRetail senior analyst Amy Koo said at the time. "While monthly guests demonstrated their commitment to Target since the breach, the same is not true for the less-engaged."