A network computer "glitch" delayed checkouts at some U.S. Target stores Sunday night, but the Minneapolis-based company says the problem had nothing to do with data security or a hacker, according to reports.
Shoppers around the country started tweeting messages, some using the hashtag #TargetProbs, around 6 p.m. reporting they had to wait in long lines to check out because some registers were not working, and in some cases they couldn't check out at all, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Shortly after 11 p.m., the company tweeted the problem had been resolved and thanked customers for their patience.
During the glitch, people in some stores abandoned their carts full of merchandise and left empty-handed. While in other locations, Target cashiers were appeasing customers by giving them a 5 percent Red Card discount, stacks of coupons and free drinks at Starbucks when their cards didn't work at the coffee stand's registers, the Star Tribune notes.
Earlier in the evening, Target released the following statement:
"Target has identified an issue impacting checkout at some of our U.S. stores. The glitch is causing delays at some checkouts, but is not in any way related to a security issue. We apologize to anyone impacted, and we are working with guests in stores where the issue has not yet been resolved to accommodate their needs. We will provide updates as they are available."
Target attributed the problem to "malfunctioning hardware on its national network," the Pioneer Press says, but the company hasn't elaborated more on the cause of the problem.
It's also not clear how many stores were affected by the checkout glitch. Some Minnesota stores were affected, including the Target in Minnetonka near Ridgedale Mall and Midway Target in St. Paul, KSTP notes.
Target has been struggling to recover from a high-profile security breach which occurred late last year when hackers compromised the company's systems and stole personal information from tens of millions of customers.