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Target cash registers fail nationwide, including in Baltimore — where some shoppers shrug

Target cash registers fail nationwide, including in Baltimore — where some shoppers shrug
A system glitch stops Target registers across the nation from accepting payments on Saturday afternoon. (Kevin Rector / Baltimore Sun)

Cash registers weren’t functioning at Target stores across the country on Saturday — including at the store in the Canton Crossing shopping center in Southeast Baltimore.

Store manager William Byrd said most of the store’s cash registers shut down about 1:20 p.m., briefly began working again and then shut down a second time.

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“We were working for a little bit, but they just shut back down,” he said about 3:30 p.m., when it appeared that just one self-checkout machine was functioning. Some cashiers also appeared to be trying to enter information onto screens manually, to help people make purchases.

Target acknowledged the problems online, tweeting at 3:12 p.m., “We’re aware that guests are currently unable to make purchases at Target stores. Our teams are troubleshooting now and we apologize for the inconvenience. We will provide an update as soon as possible.”

The outage lasted approximately two hours and was declared over by late afternoon.

Some customers in Baltimore were peeved, others not bothered much.

“I wasn’t in any rush, and they were all so nice, so I just waited,” said Zenia Boswell, 34, a veteran who just happened to be in Baltimore from Woodbridge, Va., for a Wounded Warrior Project event focused on meditation, relaxation and pain management.

“The idea of their stuff not working didn’t really bother me because I was already in a good mental space,” Boswell said, laughing.

She said she waited for about an hour and 10 minutes — continuing to shop while doing so. She’d just come for sunscreen, but by the time she was able to check out, had decided to buy some lip gloss and a tabletop griddle for cookouts, too.

“I walked around and I was like, ‘Oh, I could get this, and this,’ ” she said. “Now I’m ready for some burgers.”

Sarah Glor, 37, of Upper Fells Point picked up some storage bins. She said she used a self-checkout kiosk and had no problems about 3:45 p.m.

“A lot of people who were already in here I guess had given up, so we got here at the right time,” she said.

Shopper Erica Lefkoe, 26, of Fells Point also was good-humored about it all — joking that, if the downed registers were part of some master plan by Target to get people to shop a little longer, it worked on her.

“I was just roaming around the store buying things,” she said, pointing to a shopping cart full of home goods.

Lefkoe said all the employees at the store were helpful in keeping customers apprised of the situation as they worked to rectify it.

“They were just casually walking around saying, ‘Hey, it’s still down,’ but there wasn’t an overall announcement in the store,” she said.

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She said she wasn’t too bothered. “Yeah, it’s Target. It’s Saturday,” she said.

Once she got home, she said, she’d probably take a nap.

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