UPDATE: June 17, 2019: In a statement, a Target spokesperson confirmed to Retail Dive that the company did experience technical problems on both Saturday and Sunday, although the issues were unrelated. "Like many other companies, Target uses NCR as a vendor to help accept payments, and Sunday afternoon NCR experienced an issue at one of their data centers. While this was not an issue within Target's technology system, Target was unable to process select card payments at some stores for about 90 minutes. The issue is now resolved and payments are going through normally," the spokesperson said. "Additionally, we can confirm that this was not a security-related issue and no payment information was compromised at any time. Although this was unrelated to Saturday's issue, we know many guests had a frustrating shopping experience in our stores this weekend. For that, we are truly sorry. We never want to disappoint any guests and we're working tirelessly to ensure these issues don't happen again."
Target experienced an "internal technology issue" at registers on Saturday that resulted in customers having trouble checking out, according to a company press release. Multiple news reports stated that some customers experienced additional checkout issues on Sunday. Target did not immediately reply to Retail Dive's request for comment.
Saturday's incident lasted approximately two hours, according to the retailer. The company apologized for the inconvenience and stated that the company's technology team quickly identified and fixed the issue.
Target stated that the incident was not connected to a data breach or security issue and "no guest information was compromised at any time," per the release.
On Saturday, Target took to Twitter to explain that the company was aware that shoppers couldn't complete purchases in Target stores and were troubleshooting the incident.
We're aware that guests are currently unable to make purchases at Target stores. Our teams are troubleshooting now and we apologize for the inconvenience. We will provide an update as soon as possible.— Target (@Target) June 15, 2019
A few hours later, the company released a statement that said that all registers were back online.
The technical malfunction came the day before Father's Day, and many customers went to social media to air their confusion and frustration over the situation. The timing was reminiscent of outages faced by the likes of J. Crew and Lowe's during the height of Black Friday this year, though missing out on some Father's Day traffic is not nearly as impactful to sales.
The incident comes at a time when Target is experiencing a boost in revenue. The company's first quarter sales increased 5.1% year over year to $17.4 billion and comp sales grew 4.8%. The company is also continuing to invest in technology, most recently by expanding its same-day delivery options for over 65,000 products through the Target website.
Target is also utilizing its store locations for e-commerce fulfillment, which CEO Brian Cornell said resulted in a 40% reduction in costs.