Target Slammed by Shoppers Over Unbearable Wait Times

The backlash comes on the heels of Target's new item limit at self-checkout.

Amidst the sea of changes introduced by Target earlier this fall—including the closure of nine stores and the grand opening of 32 new locations—the big-box chain implemented several new adjustments to its front-of-store experience. The most notable of these may be a 10-item limit at self-checkout, which has been met with harsh backlash from shoppers online.

RELATED: Shoppers Are Abandoning Target, CEO Says—Here's Why.

The restriction of how many items can be scanned and purchased at self-checkout is a byproduct of Target's new initiative to provide "consistently great service through the in-store checkout experience, along with drive-up and in-store pickup," Target's chief operations officer John Mulligan said in a November earnings call, per Fox Business.

The 10-item limit was also instituted to help increase the flow of traffic during the checkout process, store officials previously explained. Theoretically, lanes at self-checkout would have a quicker turnover rate, which would lead to shorter wait times. However, that hasn't been the case according to some Target shoppers, who argue the new change has resulted in a more chaotic checkout experience.

RELATED: Walmart Worker Issues Warning to Shoppers About Self-Checkout.

One person on X explained that their frustration isn't with the rule itself, but that Target failed to open more manned checkout lanes, which are now experiencing longer wait times than normal.

"@target I don't mind that self-checkout is 10 items or less but you then can't have 2 regular checkout lanes so you wait forever to checkout. Please fix this," they wrote.

Another person said in agreement, "target, don't make your self checkout 10 items or less unless you have the staff to have more than one register open. i would be out the door by now if i were doing it myself."

"@Target the lines for checkout should NOT be this long when y'all have half a dozen self checkout machines not being used even though they are operational," wrote yet another shopper. "and at the busiest shopping season if the year??? what are you thinking?"

Target's Guest Service Desk X account (@AskTarget) actually responded to this last post, asking the user to message them with the exact store location: "Thanks for letting us know that there were only a couple of registers open. Let's make sure checkout visits are short and sweet at your local store."

However, despite the negative online chatter surrounding the new limit, Mulligan said in the earnings call that "since we've refocused on the front-end experience, we've seen more than a 6 percentage point increase in the usage of full service lanes across the chain."

"Our guests tell us they enjoy interacting with our team," he added.

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Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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