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Target's 2-hour register outage could cost the company $50 million

Business Insider | Jun 18, 2019, 02.35AM IST

target store shopper

John Minchillo/AP Images

The Target outage likely cost the company millions of dollars.

  • Target could have lost an estimated $50 million in sales during a two-hour register outage on Saturday, according to Kantar Consulting. Bloomberg's Matthew Boyle first reported on the estimate.
  • Target said an "internal technology issue" caused the outage, which prevented registers at its 1,850 US stores from completing purchases.
  • Target did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the $50 million cost estimate.
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Target could have lost an estimated $50 million in sales during a two-hour outage on Saturday that knocked out its registers nationwide, according to an analysis from Kantar Consulting.

Target said an "internal technology issue" caused the outage, which prevented registers at its 1,850 US stores from completing purchases. This led to long lines, frustrated customers, and many abandoned shopping carts.

Unfortunately for Target, the outage happened on a Saturday, which for many retailers is one of the busiest shopping days of the week.

Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Consulting, estimates that about one third of Target's $1.5 billion in weekly sales are generated on Saturdays.

Read more: Target cash registers across America crashed for 2 hours, creating massive lines of frustrated customers in 'The Great Target Outage of 2019'

Based on this estimate and the fact that most Target stores are open for 12 hours on Saturdays, it's possible that the company lost about $80 million in sales during the two-hour outage, according to Gildenberg's calculations.

Target likely recouped some of those sales losses through customers shopping the website instead, or returning to stores later to complete their purchases.

That's how Gildenberg landed at $50 million as the possible cost of Target's downed registers. Bloomberg's Matthew Boyle first reported on the estimate.

Target did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the $50 million estimate. The company will likely reveal more information on the costs of the outage during its next quarterly earnings report.

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