Best Buy's website suffers Black Friday outage

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Best Buy's website suffered sporadic technical issues throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, creating an extended outage during one of the year's busiest shopping periods.

After a litany of shopper complaints engulfed the retailer's Facebook and Twitter feeds late Friday afternoon, the company initially attributed the blackout to heavy traffic. However, consumers were still complaining about the lack of service early Saturday, suggesting the problem could be more serious.

"BestBuy.com has experienced record levels of website traffic," according to a company statement issued Friday evening. "This has affected site performance and we have temporarily taken the site down in response. We are taking measures to restore full performance of the site as quickly as possible."

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The website continued to face challenges Saturday morning, as some users were unable to purchase items they'd selected. @BestBuySupport, one of the retailer's verified Twitter handles, suggested online shoppers try checking out on the mobile site instead.

The site also experienced issues around 9 a.m. Thursday morning when CNBC tried to load it, and separate media reports noted that it also was down late Wednesday night.

Upset shoppers took to the retailer's Facebook page to vent their concerns.

"Well, after a good few hours of setting up what I'm gonna get for my first potentially amazing Black Friday..... you crash," a Facebook user named Sean Martin wrote. "If you intend to be one of the leaders among sales in technology and electronics. ....... maybe, just maybe you should know how to run tech."

The company's shares were up as much as 2.5 percent before reports began to circulate on Friday's outage; they closed up 1.7 percent. (What's the stock doing now? Click here)

Best Buy declined to break out its traffic or sales data for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. But according to ChannelAdvisor, whose technology tracks same-store sales transactions for more than 2,700 online retailers, Best Buy's online sales rose 16.32 percent on Thursday, compared to last year.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said the outage is a testament to Best Buy's traffic, and a testament to the fact Amazon is never down. He said he doesn't think it will have much of an impact on the retailer's results, as most people visit its site on Black Friday to compare pricing, and then shop in-store.

"This shows how hard it is to manage a website when it's busy, but props to Best Buy for being busy," Pachter said in an email. "Their Black Friday deals are quite competitive."

Pachter has an "underperform" rating and an $18 price target on Best Buy.

Earlier this month, Adobe predicted Black Friday would be the fastest-growing online sales day of the year. It was initially projected to rake in $2.48 billion, representing 30 percent growth. In an update Friday, the analytics firm said it is now anticipating $2.4 billion in sales.

As of 10 a.m., Adobe said Black Friday online sales were up 24 percent compared with the same period last year. Thanksgiving Day online sales increased by 25 percent, to $1.33 billion.

Also Friday, specialty retailer TopShop's site was down. Earlier in the day, Tesco's site experienced technical difficulties.