As if Black Friday weren't already stressful enough, shoppers are saying that Macy's, the major department store chain, appears to be experiencing credit and debit card system problems around the United States.
Macy's said the delays experience on the afternoon of Black Friday were related to a capacity issue that caused a certain number of transactions to take far longer than normal to process, but it does not anticipate any further delays.
A Macy's customer service employee contacted by phone said she was unable to provide assistance due to technical issues.
"But we have added additional associates to the floor who are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible".
Word began percolating on social media around noon on Friday from shoppers across the country.
There were frustrated shoppers in Richmond, Washington, D-C, Chicago, San Diego and New Jersey. "Place your order now, and we'll send you an email confirming availability and shipping when our system is back online, or please try again later".
This year's Christmas shopping season is a make-it or break-it period for Macy's, as the retailer has 11 straight quarters of same-store sales declines and its stock has dropped 70% from its price in 2015.
Macy's had a website outage during last year's Black Friday, which had a negative impact on its quarterly earnings.
Earlier on Friday, Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette told The Associated Press said he was pleased with the kickoff to the season. Macy's is not known to have as loyal a customer base as competitor Nordstrom, Argenti said. The National Retail Federation has forecast total holiday retail sales to climb 3.6 to 4 percent in 2017.