Red carts full of merchandise piled up at Targets nationwide as customers abandoned their shopping due to a computer failure at the cash registers.

"We're aware that guests are currently unable to make purchases at Target stores. Our teams are troubleshooting now and we apologize for the inconvenience," the company said in a tweet.

NPR's Alina Selyukh reported that staff at Target's branch in Columbia Heights, Washington, D.C., sent all shoppers out and said the problem had affected all locations and all stores.

"Sorry for all the inconveniences, but all of the registers are down," a worker announced via a loudspeaker.

Customers in other states wrote of similar experiences.

In Blaine, Minn., one Twitter user posted a video of customers waiting in line, writing, "Registers are down...#targetfail."

A shopper in Tennessee posted, "#targetdown - Collierville TN -Help!"

Shopper Meaghan Mooney wrote on Twitter that she filled her cart but couldn't pay for anything because of the systems failure. " I just filled my l cart w/ hundreds of $ of merch I need TODAY, but REGISTERS ARE DOWN GLOBALLY???" she wrote.

And anchor Hunter Sowards of KTRE in Texas found staff handing customers chips.

In some stores, Target employees got around the problem by keying in barcodes on their personal mobile phones. The checkout process was lengthy and trying, and a customer in Las Vegas offered her thanks to a worker who went through the trouble for her.

"It took me almost an hour to check out just now. Honestly the only reason you still got my money was because of employee Kevarian at the Blue Diamond Las Vegas location. He manually entered in every one of my items and was patient," wrote the Twitter user.

Target is a financial sponsor of NPR.

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