Best Buy blundered late in the holiday season, notifying some customers that orders they placed weeks prior would not ship.
The big box giant acknowledged that orders for popular items placed over Black Friday and Cyber Monday exceeded supplies, leaving it in unable to meet demand. Best Buy offered free shipping this year, aggressively competing against Amazon.com, but was apparently unprepared for the surge in sales.
A Best Buy spokeswoman told several news outlets that overwhelming demand of hot products led the company to cancel orders.
Although it affected less than 1 percent of Best Buy shoppers, the order cancellations invited a flurry of angry postings on the web. Laptops and video game consoles were among the products cancelled.
Some customers were notified their orders were cancelled as late as December 21. Others, were notified on December 16, according to some of the forum posts.
Analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities wondered if the bad press would scare some people away from ordering from bestbuy.com in the future, reported SFGate.com.
“This was a rare situation based on a high volume of orders over a short period of time,” said spokeswoman Susan Busch. “There was an unacceptable delay between order confirmations and cancellations, and for that we are very sorry. The challenges related to this situation are being addressed.”
CEO Brian Dunn told analysts earlier this month that Best Buy’s aggressive online promoting had led to high store traffic and sales increases in stores open for at least 14 months.
Online sales overall are up 15 percent to $32 billion so far this holiday season, while total sales are up just 2.5 percent, said Reuters.
Best Buy is not the only mass merchant to stumble in online execution this holiday season. Target’s website was overloaded in September as consumers rushed to buy a new Missoni clothing collection.