Target CEO apologizes for register outages: 'A tough weekend'

Target CEO Brian Cornell apologized to customers Wednesday after stores experienced register outages nationwide for several hours last weekend.

Cornell told CNBC that Saturday and Sunday’s system malfunction did not affect the retailer’s earnings forecast.

“A tough weekend. Tough for our brand and really disappointing for our guests,” Cornell said. “I need to start off by apologizing to thousands of guests who were shopping our stores on Saturday and then again on Sunday. Unfortunately, we had issues both days.”

Customers wait on a long check out line at a Target store in San Francisco on Saturday. (AP)

Cornell said Saturday’s glitch was due to an internal technical issue that caused registers to stop working in stores nationwide, while Sunday’s malfunction was due to problems at its vendor NCR’s data center. He emphasized that there was no data breach as a result of the issues.

“Within a couple of hours, our teams were able to identify the root cause and push the fix to our stores and get us back up and running,” Cornell said. “But disappointing performance.”

Target’s system was down for several hours as employees worked to sort out the situation on the biggest shopping days of the week. Several people took to social media to describe the confusion and long delays at stores across the U.S. In some locations, Target employees were warning customers that they might not be able to check out as the situation was being sorted out.

Analysts also predicted the retailer most likely lost hundreds of millions of dollars in sales due to the glitches — but Cornell insisted the company was still going strong in the second quarter.


“We will build on our momentum that we started in Q1,” Cornell said.