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The Wall Street Journal reports that Target management is saying that the shutdown of its checkout registers on Saturday around the country was the result of an “internal technology issue,” and not any sort of outside data breach that put customer information at risk.

The problem lasted for about two hours before it was resolved by Target employees, the company said. The Washington Post writes that “it was not immediately clear how many of the company’s 1,850 U.S. stores were affected, though shoppers reported outages in several states, including Iowa, California, Minnesota and New York.”

Then, on Sunday, it happened again.

And, in what may the oddest coincidence of the story, the Post reports that Target “experienced a similar systems failure exactly five years ago, when its registers went down for several hours on June 15, 2014.” At the time, the company used similar language to describe the reason behind the shutdown.

Yesterday, Target released the following statement:

“Like many other companies, Target uses NCR as a vendor to help accept payments, and on 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. 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.”

The Journal story says that on Saturday “many shoppers took to Twitter to complain of long lines and confusion at stores. They used the hashtag #TargetDown and pointed out the poor timing of the outage, coming the day before Father’s Day.”
KC's View:
Seems like a lot of trouble to go to - five years ago and again this weekend - to create a built-in excuse for forgetting to pick up a Fathers Day present.