By John Patrick Pullen
November 25, 2017

Macy’s was hit by a massive slow down of its credit card and gift card processing on Black Friday, a setback that could hamper its sales significantly, and possibly lose the department store chain massive amounts of money at the start of the holiday shopping season.

However, the company says it has resolved the problem, according to the following statement reported by TechCrunch:

We have fully resolved today’s system issues. We highly value our customers and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience today’s system slowdown may have caused during their shopping experience. The delays we experienced this afternoon were due to a capacity-related issue that caused some transactions to take longer to process. We do not anticipate any additional delays.

The setback could not have come at a worse time for Macy’s, which has made a major push to improve its performance this holiday shopping season. But the slowdown’s timing—as well as Macy’s vocal, disgruntled shoppers on social media—is a black eye that could be heal as retail becomes increasingly cutthroat in the face of e-commerce’s 2017 gains.

In particular, this Christmas is make-or-break for Macy’s, which has posted 11 consecutive quarters of declines in “same-store” sales, and stock is down at least 70% from 2015. The holiday season produces around 30% of the company’s annual sales because it attracts people to the stores like no other time of the year—as these lines demonstrate:

Last year, Macy’s website buckled under the weight of online traffic to its Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Looking to resolve issues like these, company CEO Jeff Gennette put a plan in place called “North Star,” which aimed to not just position Macy’s as a store, but as an authority on gift-giving. “Our customers really look to us for fashion curation and guidance, more so than to other retail brands,” Gennette told Fortune.

On the bright side Macy’s, it’s only the first day of the holiday shopping season, and there are lots more customers, sales, and deals to be made.

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