Wal-Mart’s website malfunctioned during the Thanksgiving shopping rush on Thursday morning, just as shoppers flocked to the site.
It was the first time Wal-Mart decided to offer its Black Friday ‘doorbusters’ through its website and the company offered those items hours before they were available in U.S. stores.
The discounts, which were offered in stores starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, went on sale starting around 3 a.m. ET.
Many customers found that they had to wait a long time for pages to load, and others complained about extremely slow checkout times.
“As [discounts] became available online, we saw an incredible surge in traffic,” a spokeswoman said. The website didn’t crash, but did slow down, she admitted.
Some Wal-Mart shoppers took to Twitter to complain about problems checking out on the retailer’s website, which sent Wal-Mart employees scrambling to offer apologies.
Wal-Mart put a large emphasis on online shopping this holiday season, advertising its mobile app, and promoting free in-store pickup for online orders.
The company plans to spend $2 billion this year and next to take on Amazon.com, Target, and other retailers who are currently dominating the digital sales cycle.