Woolworths supermarkets around Australia were hit by a technical outage on Monday afternoon, leaving hundreds of customers stranded.
Shoppers began reporting on social media about 4.15pm that they’d been told an IT issue was affecting cash registers. Others said stores were being closed and that they were being turned away.
SBS journalist Lydia Feng said she was shopping at a Woolworths in Balmain, in Sydney’s inner west, when the registers went down.
“Registers are offline so customers are standing in queues with baskets of food that they can’t buy,” she said.
Numerous customers shared images on social media of long queues after cash registers went offline.
“Shoppers have been told to leave groceries in baskets in the aisle,” one customer wrote on Twitter.
Staff at one of the affected stores at Sydney’s Town Hall confirmed the outage meant customers were left with no choice but leave without purchases.
“They’ve told everyone just to leave their food and leave the store.”
A Woolworths spokeswoman told SBS News the temporary outage hit all its stores.
“We can confirm that an IT issue impacted registers in our supermarkets for a short period of time this afternoon,” she said.
“The registers are now coming back online in our stores. We apologise for the inconvenience this caused our customers.”
The spokeswoman said a team was investigating the cause of the technical fault which impacted its systems for less than an hour.