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Target Works to Fix Website Before Black Friday

Target Corp. (TGT) spent two years preparing to take control of its website from Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and on the day of the debut included a link on the home page titled “learn all about what’s new.” The link didn’t work.

The error, fixed later that day, proved to be a sign of problems to come. The new Target.com has crashed six times since it went live on Aug. 23, and accounted for more than half of the major outages this year at the top 100 sites in the U.S. by revenue, according to Web monitor AlertBot. The site’s president left the company. Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, is also less than three weeks away.

“They could lose customers for this,” Robin Lewis, chief executive officer of the Robin Report retail newsletter, said in an interview. “Target is so on top of everything else they do over there, and how they run their business. For this to be happening is surprising.”

Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, Target has been grappling for years with how to improve its Web operations as shoppers migrate online. In the early days of the Web, companies such as Target and Toys “R” Us Inc. found it easier and less expensive to outsource their online operations to Amazon. More...

11-13-2011 15:45