Target stores nationwide face long lines and frustrated customers amid widespread cash register outage


Target TGT, -0.58% has experienced a global computer system outage, according to reports on Twitter TWTR, -0.52%  .

Customers across the country have reported that Target employees were advising them that the retailer’s payment system was down, causing long lines to form in many locations. Based on reports from social media, the outage began sometime early Saturday afternoon.

Consumers described hours-long lines and confusion in stores across the country, with some saying that Target employees had turned away customers for two hours.

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Another customer said that they waited on line for 30 minutes only to find out that cashiers couldn’t handle any transactions. Stores were crowded with weekend shoppers, including those looking to purchasegifts for Father’s Day. On its website, the retailer was advertising Father’s Day discounts on grills and patio furniture, with the option of free in-store pickup for orders placed online.

Target confirmed the outage in an email to MarketWatch. “We’re aware that guests are currently unable to make purchases at Target stores,” a company spokeswoman said. “Our teams are troubleshooting now and we apologize for the inconvenience. We will provide an update as soon as possible.”

Some customers reported that store employees were offering discounts, beverages and snacks to those waiting in the long lines that have formed since the system outage began.

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The incident also prompted a slew of humorous reactions from people waiting to complete their purchases, with some comparing the incident to the apocalypse or the Fyre Festival. Others wondered whether the outage was the result of a hack —the retailer experienced a major data breach in 2013, prompting $18.5 million settlement.

Earlier this week, Target announced that it would begin offering same-day delivery for thousands of items for $9.99 per order, in a bid to compete with the free same-day and next-day delivery options offered by Amazon AMZN, -0.03%  and Walmart WMT, +0.39%  .

Shares of Target are up 14.52% over the past three months. Comparatively, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.07%  and S&P 500 SPX, -0.16%  are up 0.93% and 2.29% over that same period of time.