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MN GOP gubernatorial candidates demand Target and Best Buy shutdown their online retailing

Wry Wing Politics

Minneapolis, Minn. — Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidates today demanded that home state retailers Target and Best Buy  pull out of online marketing because of serious technical meltdowns associated with their respective commercial websites.

The Republican candidates’ criticism of the local private retailers was consistent with harsh criticism they have leveled at the government-run website, Minnesota’s new online venue for comparing and purchasing private insurance policies offered in association with the federal Affordable Care Act.  A Minnesota Department of Commerce analysis finds that MNsure offers the lowest prices in the nation and has proven to be a popular destination for Minnesotans, but MnSure website visitors have also been subjected to frustrating delays and bugs.

The three Republican candidates ordinarily stress that  private companies are superior to  government-run initiatives.  But today the candidates pointed out that Minnesota-based Best Buy and Target also experienced MNsure-like launch problems, and therefore also should terminate their online retailing operations.

In September 2011, Target Corporation was publicly humiliated when its website crashed during a crucial launch of  a much anticipated Missoni-designed clothing line, infuriating its  customers.  At the time, a New York Times article noted:

The site was wiped out for most of the day; the company said that demand for items was higher than it was on a typical day after Thanksgiving, and that is usually the biggest shopping day of the year.

A few months later in 2011,  sheepish Best Buy officials had to notify customers that it would not be able to fill their orders in time for Christmas, because the electronics retail giant had underestimated the initial delay for its products. USA Today reported:

The largest U.S. specialty electronics retailer said late Wednesday that overwhelming demand for some products from has led to a problem redeeming online orders made in November and December.

The Minneapolis company declined Thursday to specify how many orders are affected or which products are out of stock.

“I would do anything I could to end them,” said Minnesota Senator Dave Thompson, said of Best Buy and Target.

“I don’t believe it can be fixed,” added Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson about the retail giants’ glitches.

“It just isn’t going to work,” agreed former Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers.

Note:  This post is satirical, and not true.  Though the quotes above are the exact words the candidates used about MNsure in August 2013, the candidates have not, to the best of our knowledge, made the same demands of Best Buy and Target.

This post was written by Joe Loveland and originally published on Wry Wing Politics.

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Comments (2)

I realize this

is supposed to be funny but it only served to be ironic.

"The site was wiped out for most of the day ..."

If that were only true for

“ was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.”

Launch glitches happen

Yes, what ails the federal site may be worse than what ailed our favorite retailers' sites, though having to publicly play Grinch and tell customers that they can't have their Christmas gifts is about as bad as it gets in the retail world.

The larger point: 1) Launch glitches happen all the time, even to celebrated private sector wizards; 2) Launch glitches can be fixed, if one is in the company of carpenters instead of arsonists; and 3) Mssrs. Johsnon, Zellers and Thompson are serial arsonists when it comes to MnSure.

Given that MnSure is offering the lowest prices of any exchange in the nation, might it be a tad reckless to immediately declare 'it just isn't going to work?"