Red-faced Asda bosses have been forced to apologise to customers after a computer “glitch” in Leeds resulted in rows upon rows of empty shelves at their 24-hour store in Chesser.
Shoppers were stunned to find it resembling a “Soviet-era” supermarket more than the Wal-Mart owned retailer’s flagship Edinburgh store on Tuesday.
It is understood the restocking mishap occurred after an employee wiped the store from its internal systems, meaning that essential reorders were never processed.
Regular Patricia Meldrum popped in to pick up some groceries on Tuesday night and was left “astounded” by the scene that greeted her.
She said: “My partner was in earlier this week and he said the shelves were empty. I did not pay much attention until I went and was astounded. It was like shopping in Russia during the 80s.
“There was no fruit and veg and hardly anything in the fresh or frozen sections and a general lack of stuff in the store.”
She added: “I asked one of the assistants what was going on and was told that someone in America pressed a button and deleted the whole store from their systems, which I think is hilarious.”
Once the mishap was noticed by store bosses an immediate restock was ordered. However, empty shelves were still noticeable yesterday.
Regular store user, Gareth Scott, 29, from Clermiston said: “It’s a bit ridiculous isn’t it, you’d have thought they’d notice before the shelves were bare. The least you’d expect from a supermarket of this size is fresh fruit and veg and bread and milk.”
Fellow shopper Pauline Leggatt, 48, from Muirhouse, said: “It just goes to show with computers, one wrong flick of a switch somewhere in America and we end up with empty shelves here in Edinburgh.”
Customers also voiced their disquiet on Twitter, Craig Bell tweeted: “If you’re going shopping, don’t go to the Asda at Chesser. #EmptyShelves.”
Lesley Beck posted a picture of an entire row of empty shelves and added: “Asda Chesser. You’d have thought they’d have noticed the issue with their re-stocking system before it got this bad.”
Karen Duncan summed up the feeling of many shoppers when she tweeted: “Asda at Chesser, please be ashamed to call yourself a supermarket. #nomilk #nobread #nofruit #novegetables #imwritinga stronglywordedletter.”
An Asda spokesman said: “There was a system glitch at head office which affected our Edinburgh Chesser store. This is the only store to be affected by this issue and it has now been resolved.
“The glitch meant that the store wasn’t able to restock the shelves as it normally would. As soon as we were made aware of what had happened, we took control of the orders to make sure the store was fully stocked with all the essentials. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers because of this system glitch.”