Sales at John Lewis’s flagship London store were hit by software issues at its tills last week as shoppers flocked to the store during the festive shopping rush.
The department store chain, known for its unparalleled levels of customer service, played down the impact of the till failures at its Oxford Street branch during a week when the 28-store group recorded its best-ever week of sales.
Customers were redirected to alternative tills around the store on Sunday and a source said the problem had been ongoing for a week.
“People were walking out of the store because the tills kept breaking down and takings were down quite a lot,” said the source. “The tills couldn’t keep up with the number of customers.”
A spokeswoman for John Lewis said the problem was “sporadic” and that while trade was impacted last week, trade this week was up on last year at the Oxford Street store by more than at other John Lewis stores in London.
The store has four separate till systems as a contingency – so all payment methods can be taken – and head office staff were in store to provide extra support, she added.