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TOWIE boutique apologies for website's failure to launch

The Only Way is Essex womenswear indie Minnies Boutique has postponed the launch date of its online shop to later this week after a string of setbacks prevented it from going live on Friday as anticipated.

The Only Way is Essex fans rushed to www.minnies-boutique.co.uk at a frenzied rate of 46,000 hits an hour on Friday – only to be disappointed when they were greeted by the same holding page that had been up since May. Minnies had even kicked off the would-be launch date with a party on Wednesday night at Sugar Hut in Brentwood, another business that features in the ITV reality series.

The store, which is owned by The Only Way is Essex stars Sam and Billie Faiers, had promised an hour of exclusive shopping to pre-registered customers from 12.30pm on Friday, with the online store opening to everyone else at 1.30pm.

However hours of technical difficulties followed by issues Minnies had with the new site’s aesthetics prevented it ever going live.

Frustrated fans turned to Facebook and Twitter to vent their frustrations. The store responded with regular tweets- one read: “Due to overwhelming response our systems have crashed & will be up as soon as possible. SORRY guys x.”

A Minnies Boutique spokeswoman told Drapers : “We had some really bad technical problems to start off with, then by 6pm the web design team sent us a link to look at the site and none of us were happy with it. We are quite pedantic with how we want it to appear and we didn’t like the banners, the typefaces and other design aspects we had gone through before.”

She said the Essex-based website design company, which she declined to name, was not fully to blame for the mix up. “We should have spent more time talking to them about the aesthetics.”

Minnies Boutique apologised to customers, thanking them for their patience and support. She said she did not want to commit to an exact date, but revealed the online shop should be up and running on either Thursday or Friday of this week.

Minnies Boutique, which opened in April 2011, stocks brands including Maggie and Me, Little Mistress, London Rebel and Beyonce’s new brand House of Dereon.

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