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Target Fires Employee for Buying Zhu Zhu Pet

By bethanysanders |

zhu-zhu1In an ad flier in today’s paper, I saw a big headline, “We’ve Got Zhu Zhu Pets!”  and thought to myself, “I am not going within 100 feet of that store today.  People get a little frantic this time of year, and people are definitely nutty over Zhu Zhu pets.

So nutty, in fact, that one woman lost her job over the furry little robotic hamsters.


A Target employee was fired for buying a Zhu Zhu Pet during her overnight shift a few weeks back.  Susan Kronbeck has worked for Target for 13 years, but when she bought this season’s hot toy four hours earlier than rules allow, she was let go.

Target told third shift employees that they would not be allowed to buy Zhu Zhu pets before 8 a.m., to give shoppers a fair chance at snagging their own.  Kronbeck says she was never told about the rules, so she bought hers at 4 a.m.

In a statement, Target said:

“At Target, we have policies and procedures in place to ensure our team members follow specific guidelines when purchasing items during their scheduled shifts. These guidelines are in place to provide our guests with the same purchasing opportunities as our team members….The team member purchasing guidelines policy is clearly communicated to all team members in the team member handbook and reminders of this policy are often communicated through such means as:

· Notifications posted in our stores
· Reminder articles in internal team member news vehicles
· Team huddles

Violations of these policies may lead to corrective action up to and including termination. Because this is a personnel issue we are unable to provide additional specifics regarding this incident.”

While Kronbeck clearly broke the rules, it’s not as if she bought a carton of the little rodents to sell on eBay or something, which is likely a big part of the reason why Target has its policy in place to begin with.  In a big picture sense, it seems kind of silly, though.

What do you think?  Should Target have fired Kronbeck for this small infraction, or should she have just received a warning?  And how far would you/have you gone to snap up a Zhu Zhu pet for your kid?

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10 thoughts on “Target Fires Employee for Buying Zhu Zhu Pet

  1. snarky mama says:

    I’ve never worked at Target, but I have worked in retail. Almost every place I have worked required a manager to complete an employee transaction. The few places that didn’t require management, definitely did not allow employees to ring themselves up.

    So…who rang this woman up for her hamster? And did that person also get fired?

  2. [...] Although there have been numerous reports of these hamsters being more elusive than a cure for the common cold, it seems that eBay sellers have plenty of the popular Pets, often for less than the suggested retail price of $9.99. So perhaps Target over-reacted when they fired an employee for buying one of the little hamsters. [...]

  3. april says:

    Target doesn’t require a manager to ring up employee purchashes, but the register won’t let you ring up yourself if you are using your employee discount card. the registier will recognize that it’s YOUR discount card & that you are logged into that register. so someone else HAD to of rang up this person’s purchase. & ya, WHY wasn’t that person also reprimanded???

  4. [...] the inauguration of America’s first African-American President and ended in a massive run on robotic hamsters.  In between there was swine flu, the finding of Jaycee Dugard, Jon Minus Kate, and Balloon [...]

  5. christine Kay says:

    Target has some nerve. They are part of the West Coast Coalition which wants their workers to unload their cheap items off cargo boats @ a fraction of the cost Longshoremen get paid. They forget that Longshoremen get paid a decent salary because it is very dangerous on the docks. Target also hires undocumented workers. Now they want to fire emlployees for nothing. Please…That should be one of the perks of working for a lame company like Target. First chance at cheap China made toys…It’s the American Way!!!Anything to save or make a buck. I call on all people to NOT spend your hard earned money at this store. This store is against the regular worker just to make a buck. This sounds like a way for them to advertise on TV that they have these popular items at their store. Free Advertising!!! at the cost of some regular workers!!!Don’t fall for it…DON”T SHOP THERE…teach them a lesson and hit them where it hurts them…on their bottom line!!!

  6. [...] Target Fires Employee for Buying Zhu Zhu Pet [...]

  7. [...] Target Fires Employee for Buying Zhu Zhu Pet [...]

  8. [...] Target Fires Employee for Buying Zhu Zhu Pet [...]

  9. mountain dude says:

    People would be really mad to find out that if they really wanted one of the hottest toys of the year, but couldn’t because a team member bought it before any one else could. Target made the right decision, but yes the team member who sold it shoult also have gotten into trouble too. Everyone would be mad if a team member bought a WII before the guests could. The only difference is price…policy is policy, everyone knows it. If you lets the rules slide for one you have to do it for all and thats not fair.

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