Crisis Averted? Though Checkout Systems Went Down, Target Loyalty Remains High

To say that Target had a rough weekend last week would be a significant understatement after the brand faced two checkout outages in two days. The down period was so significant that CEO Brian Cornell publicly apologized and had to reiterate that the quarterly forecast would not be impacted.

Yet, it is one thing to claim that no harm has been done, and another entirely to see whether the data backs up the sentiment.

We dove into Target’s post-weekend performance to see how the system failures impacted visits.

National Stability

Target is easily one of the most valuable retail brands in the country. In Q1 of 2019, Target was second only to Walmart in retail visits.

Among the top ten grocery and mass merchandise brands in the US, Target amounted for a whopping 15% of overall visits. Not only did many people come into stores, but they also tended to stay with average visit durations amounting to 41 minutes, behind only Walmart and Costco among the top ten in the category.

And the benefit of this loyalty proved itself last weekend. Despite two significant technical glitches Target has seen nearly no significant visit decrease in the days following the weekend. In fact, visits have come in almost exactly at the baseline for 2019.

Looking at the impact on a state level shows a similarly stable picture with visit rates in California, Texas and Florida falling well within the expected range.

Visits to California Target locations remained within normal ranges compared to the 2019 baseline.
Visits to Texas Target locations remained within normal ranges compared to the 2019 baseline.
Visits to Florida Target locations remained within normal ranges compared to the 2019 baseline.

Why It Matters

In some cases, the lack of a ‘story’ is the most important story.

Amidst a period defined by store closings and retailer struggles, there are a host of brands that have identified effective ways thrive. By staving off an immediate negative impact, Target shows its prowess in keeping customers so happy they are willing to overlook a rough weekend.

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