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Apple Stores suffer retail POS, Personal Pickup outage

updated 05:58 pm EST, Thu November 14, 2013

Apparently nationwide, reports vary on length, systems now restored

Apple retail stores around the US suffered an unusual outage of the company's point-of-sale (POS) systems that lasted for up to two hours at some locations earlier today, affecting the ability to make purchases and pick up items ordered online for in-store delivery. Quick checks of stores in Albequerque New Mexico, New York City and northern Virginia along with other reports indicate that outage times varied, with the disruption described as "no big deal" at some stores while others had longer downtimes.

Given that the average Apple store does $50 million in business every three months (or $50,000 per hour on average, according to figure from AppleInsider), if the POS downtime affected every one of the 253 operating US stores, the damage could tally as high as $12.65 million per hour the system was down. With the holiday buying season quickly ramping up, and stores receiving new products (in particular the just-announced Retina iPad mini, but also the iPad Air and additional iPhone and Retina MacBook supplies), the issue with the POS system was ill-timed and will likely be an area of intense focus from Apple's retail division to ensure no future problems.

There have been some scattered reports of POS failures outside the US, but no confirmations as of yet. Customers affected by the outage will have to return to the store in order to purchase their Personal Pickup items. Currently, calls to various US Apple stores suggest that all systems are back online now.

by MacNN Staff





  1. I-ku-u

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-08-11

    Well, I made a small purchase at one of my local Apple stores here in MA about 2 hours ago and they mentioned their system was down but were still processing orders quite quickly and efficiently anyway - they simply recorded the relevant info and I was out in under 3 minutes.

    So while it looks like the outage was company wide, I'd be surprised if the impact was more than a minor percentage of what this article posits.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Yes, thus the use of the phrase "as high as." Still, any lost sales are significant just by virtue of what an enormous volume of business Apple does these days.

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