Coles blamed 'technical glitch' for forced shutdown of registers

The supermarket giant is handing out triple Flybuy points and offering free delivery for online orders as an apology to customers.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Coles supermarkets nationally were hit with what the company described as a "technical issue" last Friday evening.

The unidentified glitch forced customers to abandon their shopping trolleys as the supermarket giant was unable to process any transactions at checkout. Coles Express and Coles Liquor stores, however, remained open for trade.

The retailer later took to Twitter to confirm the glitch was resolved and its stores had reopened.

"Coles supermarkets nationally have reopened after a technical issue meant we were briefly unable to process transactions this afternoon. We thank our customers for their patience," it wrote.

ZDNet has contacted Coles to understand the cause behind the glitch.    

Coles has since apologised to customers, offering its supermarket and Liquorland customers triple Flybuys points on their food, groceries, or liquor purchases during the weekend, and free delivery for all online orders when customers spend AU$50 or more until October 18.

The last time the supermarket chain suffered a glitch was back in 2018 that saw several of its supermarkets across the country close.

Coles confirmed at the time that some "minor IT problems" had affected some supermarkets, "which were out of our team members' control".

In August, the retailer boasted that it had saved more than AU$250 million during the 2020 financial year by adopting more technology to drive efficiencies as part of what it has dubbed its "smarter selling" strategy.

Under the strategy, the company said during the year it introduced data and technology-led solutions in-store, such as its deli easy order and bakery production tools; developed artificial intelligence tools for areas such as forecasting and markdowns; and transitioned more than 3,000 support team members Australia-wide to remote working.

Related Coverage

Coles partners with Flybuys to launch Flypay

A payment platform giving online shoppers the chance to pay and collect Flybuys points at the same time.

Coles shuffles data management into the cloud

It opens up the ability for the company's data science team to use machine learning and advanced analytics.

Woolworths and Coles resume online delivery services

For the last month, online orders have only been available for the elderly, people with disability, and those who have been required to self-isolate.

High demands send Woolworths and Coles' online delivery into disarray

Coles has put a halt on all online orders, while Woolworths has paused its click-and-collect service nationally.

Editorial standards