Next held a sale over the weekend, but it seems that its website wasn’t properly prepared for the extra traffic, and many customers were asked to queue to enter the website.

I tried to access the Next sale a number of times on Saturday morning, and was asked to wait for up to six minutes on various occasions, while for others it was up to 20 minutes. Not good…

This was the message some customers saw on the site, only two minutes to wait this time:

Next sale queue message

Naturally, being asked to queue to enter a website didn’t go down well with some potential customers. Here are a few comments from Twitter, and Retail Week, on the subject:

Just logged onto the Next sale website and was told I was in a queue for 15 minutes just to get on the site!!! I don’t think so.

Had an invite to Next’s online VIP sale – as in, “get in first!” – Great. I want stuff, but the website has practically crashed. Useless.

I had to queue online for the next sale!! What the hell is going on?? On-line queues!!!

What a joke- the site CRASHED!! The call centre is swamped.  We are sat here trying to spend money
in a recession; I am going to take my hard earnt to a deserving retailer. Previous Next sale spend £1453 this time NIL!

Judging by other comments, it seems people were asked to queue for up to 20 minutes to get into the sale website, which is totally unacceptable, and I imagine, as the last comment suggests, Next lost a few sales as a result.

Debenhams experienced similar problems when it launched a sale before Christmas, with the whole website crashing. As a result, a lot of the traffic went to competitors like M&S and John Lewis.

Having run plenty of sales before, Next should have been able to anticipate the extra traffic its website would attract and take steps to cope with the extra demand on its servers. Asking potential customers to queue is not the answer.