Target Website Crashes, Spoiling Shoppers’ Cyber Monday

Image courtesy of The message seen by visitors to Target.com on Monday.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 11.55.51 AMSavvy holiday shoppers who didn’t want to fight the crowds on Black Friday may still be battling congested online traffic in order to obtain the plethora of Cyber Monday deals today. That’s especially true if you’re trying to score some goodies from Target, as the retailer’s website crashed this morning. 

The Washington Post reports that at about 10:20 a.m. ET today, Target’s homepage, and the pages for many of its products, stopped shoppers in their online tracks with the explanation that “high traffic’s causing delays.”

Target tells the Post that it is working to restore full functionality to the website. Until then, however, the company will regulate the flow of traffic on its site.

By noon ET Monday, some shoppers were able to access the site. However, our attempts to reach the Target.com homepage from computers in Pennsylvania and New York both turned up “Access Denied” error messages.

The message seen by visitors to Target.com on Monday.

The message seen by some visitors to Target.com on Monday.

The retailer’s online woes are likely a result of its Cyber Week promotion which offers 15% off “virtually everything online.”

“Both traffic and order volumes are exceeding Target’s Thursday Black Friday event, which was our biggest day ever for online sales,” the company said in a statement Monday. “To help manage the volume, we have been metering traffic to the site.”

A spokesperson for the company apologized for the inconvenience on Monday, “we appreciate their patience, and encourage them to try again in a few minutes by refreshing their browser.”

Consumerist reader G. had issues making purchases online Monday, albeit of a different kind. Instead of being unable to access the retailer’s website, he was unable to put merchandise in his card because of lines.

“I hate shopping at Target stores, since they usually have as few registers open as possible, with long lines and wait times,” he tells Consumerist. “Now it seems the long lines have expanded to… shopping on their website?  I can’t add the items I want to my cart, this message just keeps popping up.”

The message reads: “There’s a line for this item. So sorry for the delay, but you can save your place in line by staying on this page & trying again to add the item to your card. Thank you for your patience!”

Target long lines

G. says the site “simply got more and more broken” as he tried periodically to add the item to his cart. Eventually, he gave up.

This, of course, isn’t Target’s first run-in with heavy traffic wreaking havoc on its website. Over the summer, the retailer’s site crashed during the debut of its limited-time collaborative Lilly Pulitzer line.

The company said at the time that the site didn’t technically “crash,” but that Target did make the strategic decision to limit some customers’ access to certain parts of Target.com. The site was also made inaccessible for several minutes to avoid a crash.

In 2011, the company suffered a months-long glitchy mess with Target.com. The most high-profile problem occurred in mid-September when the rush to purchase items from the new Missoni for Target line crashed the site. Problems continued after that, including further crashes, missing items and mysterious debit card charges… and re-charges… and re-charges.

Target’s Web site is experiencing delays on Cyber Monday [The Washington Post]