Doors shut at Coles Australia Fair after a nationwide checkout register outage. Picture: Amanda Robbemond
Doors shut at Coles Australia Fair after a nationwide checkout register outage. Picture: Amanda Robbemond

Coles reopens after technical glitch

 COLES stores around the country were closed for more than three hours on Sunday morning due to a technical glitch affecting the supermarket's cash registers.

"We apologise," read a printed notice outside a number of shuttered stores. "This store is currently closed due to circumstances beyond our control. We are working to resolve the issue and will re-open as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

It's understood the issue was nationwide but not all stores were closed. Coles did not inform customers of the store closures through Facebook or Twitter.

After hours of silence, the supermarket issued a statement just after 10am saying all stores were "open and trading".

"Earlier this morning we had some minor IT problems in some of our supermarkets which were out of our team members' control," the statement said. "We apologise for any inconvenience our customers experienced earlier this morning."

In a follow-up statement on Sunday afternoon, a spokesman said only some stores in the eastern states were affected.

"We thank our team members in affected stores who worked hard to ensure customers could complete their shopping as smoothly as possible once all stores were open."

Customers took to social media to vent their frustration.

"Sneak out of the house to do some solo grocery shopping and find that all the computers are down," wrote one Twitter user. "Note to self: always sleep in."

Another said they "witnessed three different people carry on like clowns" when they saw the supermarket was closed. "Aussies are so spoilt and dramatic," they wrote.

"You'd think it was the end of the world the way some people carry on," another added.

On Facebook, one customer wrote, "To the Coles Glenroy staff - thank you staying open, and for your updates on what was going on with the registers. I really appreciate your work!"

Another said, "Would be good if you could post something explaining what's going on with your stores being closed this morning! No explanation on the door - besides 'unforeseen circumstances'."

At the Coles Gungahlin in Canberra, staff were reportedly handing out free doughnuts and extra Little Shop miniatures to customers affected by the outage.

One customer said they waited 45 minutes at the checkout. "Only two registers were staffed, and absolutely no information from management explaining the problem," they wrote.

Another complained they heard about the outage on the news but not on Coles' Facebook page. "Come on Coles, if your stores are having problems at least have the decency to inform the public rather than wait for news services to break the news," they wrote.

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