Debenhams’ website crashes and imposes virtual queue after hundreds of thousands swarm to grab a bargain


Debenhams’ has been forced to place online shoppers in a lengthy virtual queue after hundreds of thousands flocked to the recently collapsed retailer in search of a bargain.

News that the Debenhams had fallen into administration yesterday and would begin winding down its operations sent bargain hunters swarming to the retailer’s website.

However, the nearly 250-year-old business struggled to handle the sudden influx of traffic after it announced a fire sale early yesterday morning.

Debenhams was subsequently forced to place users in a virtual queue throughout yesterday, which remains in place at the time of writing, stating: “Sorry for the wait, we are currently using a virtual queue due to exceptional demand. We will get you onto the site as soon as possible.”

READ MORE: 12,000 jobs at risk as JD Sports pull out of Debenhams takeover talks

Some shoppers complained of having a 50-minute wait time while others said there was a whopping 900,000 shoppers ahead of them in the queue.

Others complained on social media that they were “kicked out” of the virtual queue before being able to access the website after waiting for extended periods.

While many scrambled to get their hands on Debenhams’ discounts, others took a more sympathetic view of the 12,000 people set to lose their jobs as the retailer winds down.

Although chancellor Rishi Sunak told those affected he “stands ready” to help, it came just hours after a further 13,000 retail workers had their jobs placed in jeopardy as Arcadia succumbed to a similar fate.

For now Debenhams will continue to trade through its 124 stores, which will begin to reopen this week as the UK’s national lockdown comes to an end, to clear it current stock.

“Given the current trading environment and the likely prolonged effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the outlook for a restructured operation is highly uncertain,” Debenhams said.

“The administrators have therefore regretfully concluded that they should commence a wind-down of Debenhams UK, whilst continuing to seek offers for all or parts of the business.”

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