A retailer’s worst nightmare for Black Friday? Systems issues causing the inability to process payments during one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Shoppers trying to place Black Friday orders on Macy's website received the following message: "We're unable to verify availability of some item(s) in your order. Place your order now, and we'll send you an e-mail confirming availability and shipping when our system is back online, or please try again later.”
The debacle left Macy’s (and its shoppers) frustrated with lost sales both in-store and online due to the payment glitch. The retailer faced the issue the best it could, and got it resolved by Friday evening. “We have fully resolved today's system issues,” said a spokesperson for the company. “We highly value our customers and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience today's system slowdown may have caused during their shopping experience."
This came on the heels of a positive holiday outlook for Macy’s ― the retailer was looking forward to shining in Q4 and breaking its 11-quarter declining streak. "When you think about the amount of sales and profit in the fourth quarter ... I think we are where we need to be," CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC. "The fourth quarter is where we really shine."
After pulling back on its holiday season hiring in anticipation of weaker sales this year, Macy’s has decided to hire another 7,000 temporary workers, due to its strong shopper visits during the early holiday shopping season. In September, the retailer hired 80,000 temporary workers for the holiday season ― the second year in a row it was taking on fewer seasonal associates. However, despite technical difficulties, the early holiday results have inspired the retailer to bring on additional associates for the month of December.
“Macy’s has had a great start to this holiday season with high customer volume across our business,” said John Harper, Macy’s chief store officer. The company did not however quantify that with sales data. Gennette also reported positive Black Friday results, but again did not provide revenue data to back up his statements.
Hear more from Macys, and discover how leadership and culture can lay a foundation for prolonged success at NRF 2018 on Tuesday, January 16 at 11:15 am. Terry Lundgren, executive chairman of Macy’s will moderate a discussion with the founder and CEO of Chobani Yogurt, Hamdi Ulukya in the “The Chobani Way: Hamdi Ulukaya's Principled Journey in Building an Empire” session.