Bleak Black Friday start for Takealot - TechCentral

Bleak Black Friday start for Takealot

South Africa’s biggest online retailer has fallen over under the pressure of shoppers looking for Black Friday deals.

Both’s website and mobile app were down on Friday morning, with customers reporting glitches with the site in the early hours. Shortly after 7am, the website reported that it was “temporarily unavailable due to scheduled maintenance”.

The downtime is a big problem for Takealot, whose “Blue Dot Sale”, which began this morning, is the biggest shopping period for the online retailer.

In a post on Twitter at about 6.30am on Friday, Takealot said its website and apps were down due to “overwhelming volumes”.

“We’re working hard to resolve the issue and we hope to have the site operational as soon as possible. We apologise for any disappointment and we’ll have you back shopping ASAP.”

In a further tweet, sent at about 7.30am, Takealot said: “A fundamental service within our platform has failed, which has caused site-wide problems across We seem to have found the problem and are busy working through a backlog of orders right now. Once we’re in a more stable state, we’ll be back online.”


Takealot said shortly after 1pm on Friday that the website and apps are up again “but continue to experience ongoing issues”.

“Customers will unfortunately still struggle to access our site and apps as we are currently staggering traffic to the platform while we slowly build up to full site capacity, prioritising orders in process.

“We apologise for disappointing any customers and ask customers who are receiving the ‘Sorry, our store is full right now’ message, to please try again later. Customers can rest assured that thousands of Blue Dot Sale deals are still available and that the sale only closes at midnight on Tuesday, 28 November.

“Despite the intermittent site access issues, R4m worth of transactions were processed in the first hour of the sale, R10m by 2am and our entire 2015 Black Friday revenue value was exceeded by 6am. Samsung TVs were our initial bestseller, with 162 units sold in the first hour.”  — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media


  1. It must be because they’ve never experienced Black Friday crowds before, it’s totally new to them and they didn’t know what to expect. Definitely didn’t happen last year, nope, not at all.

  2. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Just tried it now. Still down over 24 hours later. This is beyond pathetic. With a management team letting this kind of thing happen year after year, no wonder they’re still running at a loss. I’d wager that most facets of the business are badly run and managed.

    Their tech prowess is obviously bad – this isn’t up for debate anymore, and their delivery process is going downhill FAST now that they’re recruiting freelancers in to do the actual deliveries. Their warehousing is clearly terrible too – I see quite a few pics of Kim Reid proudly standing in sprawling sparsely populated warehouses half full of products, and all I can think is “you’d save SO much rent if you bought some decent shelves”. Maybe they tried ordering shelves from themselves, and either couldn’t get on to their site, or they were delivered damaged and had to be sent back.

  3. Ofentse Letsholo on

    On the podcast the CEO said they were ready for the traffic and have sorted out anything that would affect the site but I guess he was wrong, we’ll see what will happen next year.

  4. Maybe because what the IT industry refers to as “engineers” are a bunch of programmers and coders and not engineers?

  5. That is one box I don’t want to open. lets just say it depends who is coding anyone respectable will never refer to themselves as a coder, that is a millennium term invented for people with software engineering disabilities in today’s world

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