back to article Sainsbury's IT glitch spoils bank holiday food orders

The sun is shining and the prospect of barbecue and beer over the bank holiday is almost in grabbing distance. But customers who ordered their groceries online with Sainsbury's today may be in for a disappointment. Due to "technical issues", a number of online deliveries have been missed. One insider got in touch with The …


  1. ShortLegs

    I'm with Lee D on this.

    A few years ago, I wouldn't have been. Those who disagree with him, your points are perfectly valid, BUT consider this.

    It's a service the Supermarkets have have introduced, and are actively pushing (both online shopping and click-and-collect). The logic is unfathomable, as click-and-collect they are doing your shopping for free (and reducing store footfall, plus a reduction in upsales and impulse purchasing, but hey-ho).

    It is a *huge* convenience. As Lee D doesn't quite put it, it's a genuine time-saving service. For a fiver (or £4 using Tesco), you can save a couple of hours less the time on-line shop).

    It's environmentally friendly, and reduces road traffic. Replace 5-10 shoppers in cars with one small van

    For some of us, who moved to a city and SOLD our car because of a) congestion b) higher insurance c)higher fuel costs due to urban motoring/slow moving and stationary traffic and actually made use of bicycles to commute rather than a car, and why pay insurance, VED, MOT, servicing costs on a depreciating asset which is used for shopping and the once-a-year trip South, online shopping is a necessity for the 'weekly' shop with large bulky items such as 17Kg bags of dog food, 16 toilet rolls, potatoes, etc.

    So the once-glib answer of "walk and do it yourself" isn't quite so valid anymore.

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Question on the toilet rolls..

      16 rolls each week? Just you? If so, dayum, that's a lot of tp! 2.something a day... hmm.

  2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Can somebody spoof a Giles cartoon of Granny (with Vera clutching some pills in the background, and the kids pulling out the electrical plug beneath the table) doing online shopping? :)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No idea about new fangled ideas like the tinterwebs

    I worked there a few years ago in IT and for 2 days they weren't able to take any online orders. The reason was the max number of orders their online system could store was either a hundred million or a billion and it hit this and couldn't accept any more. The logic behind this limit was when they put the system in place years ago they didn't think online shopping would take off. A lot of that thinking came from the fact most of the IT managers were former store managers and they couldn't see why people wouldn't want to come into their shops. Most of these guys are gone now as Sainsburys moved their IT from London to Coventry/Manchester and most people took redundancy. They're great at supporting/building systems the stores depend on but anything outside of that they have no interest in (including online shopping)

    AC because I do occasional bits of work for them still

  4. Grunt #1

    They were quick off the mark.

    ...unless there was no-one in role.

  5. EastFinchleyite

    Sainsbury Airways

    It would strangely appropriate if one of the "missed" Sainsbury deliveries was to the PBI at the BA headquarters trying to fix their monumental cock-up.

    That, or the Sainsbury system got the wrong address and tried to despatch the groceries to an office in Mumbai.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Problems with Tesco too?

    Coincidentally, I was in my local Tesco (Dundee) this morning and the self-scan checkouts were roped off; I soon found out this was because they were having problems with the system. The woman at the till was asking me if I knew the price, and it was clear that the advertised discounts weren't showing up.

    No idea if this was specific to that store or not, but it seems coincidental that it also happened on a bank holiday weekend.

  7. Nifty

    A scientific/enginnering apporach?

    NHS, BA and Sainsburys. Maybe there should be a computer science degree/MSc program that specialises in IT resilience and disaster recovery regardless of cause.

    1. EastFinchleyite

      Re: A scientific/enginnering apporach?

      I think that course exists but it is run by the Economics and Accounting faculty as part of the Degree course in Outsourcing and Maximising Shareholder Value at Trump University.

  8. Stevie Silver badge


    Curiously enough the same sort of thing happened to Margot Leadbetter and she and husband Jerry were forced to spend Christmas with Tom and Barbara Good as a result.

    Not sure what wisdom can be drawn from this, other than there is a point where getting someone else to do your shopping for you can result in fiasco and home-made Christmas crackers sans little strip of explosive.

    The barbecues in question would undoubtedly have been rained out, so no great loss.


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