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Target site overwhelmed by Cyber Monday traffic


For the second time this year, Target’s e-commerce site crashed due to exceptionally high levels of activity related to a major sales promotion.

The Target site went down the morning of Cyber Monday, Nov. 30. According to reports, the crash was actually a controlled restriction of the site by Target in response to extremely heavy volumes of visitors looking for holiday bargains.

"As we experience spikes in traffic, our systems place guests in a queue and prompt them to access the site later," Target spokeswoman Jenna Reckshe told CNBC. "We apologize to guests who experience any delays, we appreciate their patience, and encourage them to try again in a few minutes by refreshing their browser."

Almost every item sold on was being offered at a 15% discount. Not all site users experienced an outage at the same time.

“So sorry, but high traffic’s causing delays,” said a message displayed on the site for visitors who could not gain access. “If you wouldn’t mind holding, we’ll refresh automatically and get things going ASAP.”

In a tweet sent out around 2:30 p.m. ET, Target said, “There’s great response to today’s offer. Volume is two times our busiest day. Apologies, we appreciate your patience. Continue to refresh your page.”

There were no official comments on the Target news page or corporate blog.

By about 3:15 p.m. ET, the Target site appeared to be working normally again.

In April 2015, Target experienced a site disruption as a result of extremely heavy traffic for an online promotion of branded Lilly Pulitzer merchandise. The discounter’s Cyber Monday issues follow a bumpy online Black Friday experience for several major retailers.

In addition, Neiman Marcus had intermittent site outages from Nov. 27-29, while Newegg had an outage the afternoon of Nov. 27 and many online Walmart customers experienced slow checkout that day. Retailers including Footlocker and had some Black Friday site difficulties, as well.

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