Despite a national outage in the Target checkout system Saturday afternoon, staff at the Kelso store found a way to continue making sales while registers were down.
“We did absolutely everything in our power to make sure they could still get their items” until the local store came back online around 1:30 p.m., said Char Braach, human resources representative for the Kelso Target.
The outage started around 10:45 a.m. Pacific time, causing Target registers nationwide to go offline. The crash prevented customers from checking out in-store, resulting in long lines and some customers leaving the store empty-handed, according to national reports from CBS, CNN and NBC.
The outage had “kind of a ripple effect,” Braach said, and it didn’t reach the Kelso store until about 11:30 a.m.
Though the “targetdown” Twitter hashtag suggested some stores closed up shop for the day due to the outage, “we did not have to close our doors,” Braach said. “We were actually out in the parking lot welcoming people in.”
Although customers couldn’t check out in the store, they could purchase products through Target’s online platform, Braach said. Local clerks guided shoppers in using the app to make purchases as if they were doing an online pickup, where customers can buy items stoned in the store online, then arrive in person to pick up their purchase, she said.
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“That has saved a lot of sales today, and it saved a lot of Father’s Day gifts,” Braach said.
For customers who couldn’t use the app, clerks put their items on hold and called once the system was back up, Braach said.
“In the meantime, if we had guests that were a little bit upset, we had Starbucks samples coming out to them,” Braach said.
Braach added that the outage “did affect us, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.”
The national outage was not a data breach or security-related issue, according to reports by CBS news. It was unclear what caused the system to go down, though NBC reported a similar glitch plagued Target stores five years ago on this exact same date.