October 27, 2011, 12:41 PM

Target.com crashes, again—the fourth time since its redesign

In the second outage this week, the site is down for more than an hour.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Target.com went down again today, this time for an hour and a half, according to a Target Corp. spokesman. Today’s outage is the second crash this week, and marks at least the fourth time the redesigned site has gone down since its introduction August.

Target gave no reason for the crash and provided no further details. “Target strives to deliver an exceptional guest experience in our stores and online, and we regret the inconvenience to our guests,” the spokesman says.

Target is No. 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

According to web site performance monitoring firm AlertBot, the problems on Target.com started today at 10:30 a.m. Eastern, when the site began running slowly. About 15 minutes later, the retailer placed a message on its site telling consumers that the site was extremely popular and apologizing for the problem. The site then returned to normal around noon.

The site last crashed on Tuesday, with that outage lasting nearly three hours, AlertBot says. “Today’s issue appears to be the same problem that occurred on Tuesday,” an AlertBot spokesman says. “It's unclear if Target.com isn't able to handle the traffic it gets in the morning and in the afternoon or if they are performing maintenance,” he says. “Performing maintenance during the middle of the day is unlikely, considering most businesses do maintenance during low traffic.”

Target spent two years designing its new site before its launch in late summer. Site problems appear to have claimed a high-ranking victim: Steve Eastman, president of Target.com, whom the chain said resigned to “pursue other opportunities.” Target announced Eastman’s departure hours after the site crashed less than two week ago.

With the new site, Target stopped using Amazon.com Inc.’s e-commerce platform.

Here is a list of the known Target.com outages so far since the Aug. 23 debut of the new site, followed by their approximate durations:

• Sept. 13, 4 hours

• Oct. 13, 6 hours

• Oct. 25, 2 hours, 45 minutes

• Oct. 27, 1 hour, 30 minutes

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