If You're Not Going To Buy These Toys From Target, Don't Even Touch Them

Jason tells Consumerist that his local SuperTarget seems to have a new policy: don’t even look at the toys on display unless you’re going to buy them. Or maybe this is just the personal policy of a single cranky, elderly employee who scolded Jason’s children for browsing the toy aisle while their parents shopped. Whatever the case, after this incident Jason and his family aren’t keen to buy toys–or anything else–at Target anymore.

He sent this letter to Target corporate:

First off I want to say that my family and I shop at SuperTarget weekly for groceries and other household items. However after the incident tonight at our local SuperTarget we will be shopping elsewhere.

Our youngest daughter was out of diapers so after dinner we made a trip to our local Target. While there we let our two daughters, ages 2 and 4, look at the toys in the toy section while we were looking at printer ink a few aisles over but within eyesight of our daughters. While I was watching my daughters I saw an elderly employee walk to them and rudely tell them not to touch the toys unless they planned to buy them. I don’t even believe my kids were touching the toys when he spoke rudely to them but even so it frightened my oldest and sent her running and crying to me.

After witnessing this incident we immediately went to the front of the store and requested to speak to the manager. She appeared a few minutes later and I told her what happened and how frightened my daughter was. She apologized and said she would speak to the disgruntled employee. Though from her tone of voice and the fact that she walked the opposite way from where the disgruntled employee was at the time I don’t think she took my complaint seriously.

As we were leaving the store my wife tried to comfort our 4 year old and let her know she did nothing wrong. My 4-year-old responded by saying from now on we should buy our groceries at a normal grocery store. Hearing this caused my wife to start crying seeing that her 4 year old was too frightened to enter Target again because of this incident.

I am now writing to you, the corporate office and posting my letter to the Consumerist.com, in hopes that you will take this complaint seriously and take action against this employee before he frightens more children and causes you to lose more loyal customers. If your policy in the toy section is in fact, “Do not touch unless you plan to buy!” then you should remove all action toys with the TRY ME buttons because they are tempting children to touch them and that is not what you want.

The Target store I am speaking of is the [redacted] SuperTarget on [redacted].

Thank You,
Jason [last name]

Here’s the form letter he received in response.

Dear Jason [last name],

I’m glad you’ve taken the time to write us about your experience. We’re sorry you didn’t receive the type of service you’ve come to expect at Target.

We expect our team members to be helpful and friendly while you’re shopping. From the experience you described, it sounds like we didn’t meet these expectations. Your comments are very important to us, and I’ve shared them with the [redacted] Store Leadership team for further review.

Thanks for helping us make Target even better.


Target Guest Relations
(800) 440-0680

Will Jason’s message reach anyone at Target who cares? Probably not.

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