Sainsbury’s has put a temporary halt to all online orders after identifying a computer fault.
The UK’s third largest supermarket, after Tesco and Asda, did not say what the error was. But it did confirm that the problem emerged late yesterday afternoon, meaning online sales have been disrupted for over 36 hours so far.
A spokesperson told Computerworld UK: “We are trying to fix the problem at the moment. It was a technical error and orders were not being processed.”
The company indicated that customers had been making orders but would not receive their deliveries as a result of the processing problem. It is offering a £10 online voucher to each customer who placed an order but will not receive it.
On its website, Sainsbury’s apologised to customers and said: “We have temporarily frozen our online home delivery website having identified a technical issue.
“We are contacting customers directly whose deliveries have been affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes you.”
The problem, although temporary, could have a significant financial impact on the supermarket, which has been touting the growth of its website.
In its latest results, Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said that the company’s online operation was “continuing to perform well”, with sales growth at a solid 40 percent year-on-year in the quarter to 14 June.
The company is also investing £15 million to add non-foods to its online retail services. In the last financial year to March, Sainsbury’s sold to 80,000 online customers a week.
It invested £118 million in IT and supply chain improvements last year, and has appointed Angela Morrison, previously director of information services, as IT and change director.
Sainsbury's has said it delivered cost savings of £440 million ssince March 2005, following on from investments in IT and the supply chain, alongside changes to pricing and products.