Woolworths blames IT outage for checkout counters shutdown

By @chelean on
Workers can be seen on a building site behind a Woolworths Ltd supermarket, Australia's biggest grocery chain by sales, located in Sydney, Australia, August 23, 2017.
Workers can be seen on a building site behind a Woolworths Ltd supermarket, Australia's biggest grocery chain by sales, located in Sydney, Australia, August 23, 2017. Reuters/David Gray

Woolworths has blamed IT outage for the temporary shutdown of its checkouts across the nation on Monday. Customers of the supermarket giant were left frustrated when about 500 of its stores struggled to reboot their systems after an IT glitch, leaving them unable to check out their groceries.

Woolworths was flooded with complaints on social media after an IT problem shut down its computers and checkout stations in its supermarkets across the country on Monday around 4 p.m. The problem lasted for about 30 minutes, with some stores temporarily closed down to prevent more customers from coming in.

In a reply to a Twitter user, the company confirmed that it was indeed an IT issue that crippled the stores briefly.

“Our systems ultimately self-corrected themselves and we were back and open for trade across most stores by 4:30 p.m., with all stores now operational,” CEO Brad Banducci said in a statement. “This type of incident should not occur and we apologise unreservedly to our customers and store teams for the inconvenience caused.”

According to 9NEWS, the issue may have been triggered by a corruption of the supermarket’s database, and its system was unable to restore backups.

After ending 2016 financial year with a $1.2 billion loss, Woolworths spent $199 million to digitise its systems.