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Barneys Cancels Online Holiday Orders, Offers Sincere Apologies

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Some Christmas stockings are going to be a little less stuffed than expected this year. It appears that Barneys, New York's iconic luxury department store, has experienced a technical glitch in their online order management system and has cancelled several holiday orders.

The news was delivered to customers via email yesterday afternoon—that's three days before Christmas Eve, if you're keeping track at home—and offered this by way of explanation:

This technical issue posed a significant challenge for our IT department and in turn caused some lengthy delays in responding to both order requests and emails and so I apologize as well for the lateness of this reply.  Rest assured we are working around the clock to repair these errors and ensure that they do not occur again, but nonetheless your order was canceled as we no longer have the inventory to fulfill it.

Merry Christmas!

The full email to customers follows below:

Dear Barneys New York Shopper,



You may have received a cancellation notice for your recent online order from Barneys New York and considering the time of year and approaching holiday, I wanted to reach out to you to help you understand why your order has been canceled.

I know that this is a very unfortunate situation and certainly it is never our intention to disappoint anyone who chooses to shop with us online. Unfortunately a technical problem with our online order management system combined with the overwhelming response to our current offerings caused a number of issues in terms of processing and shipping several orders. It is with sincere apologies that I must inform you that your order was affected by this problem.

This technical issue posed a significant challenge for our IT department and in turn caused some lengthy delays in responding to both order requests and emails and so I apologize as well for the lateness of this reply. Rest assured we are working around the clock to repair these errors and ensure that they do not occur again, but nonetheless your order was canceled as we no longer have the inventory to fulfill it.

I would very much like the opportunity to make amends, and as such I am offering you my direct contact information so that should you need any assistance you may feel free to reach out to me at any time.

Again, please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Kevin D. Thompson
Vice President Customer Experience and Development
Barneys New York
575 Fifth Avenue 11th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(212) 450 8764

If we're to learn anything from the Ghost of Customer-Service Debacles Past (a.k.a. the Target x Missoni disaster), it's that arbitrarily canceling orders makes customers unhappy. Though the scale here is considerably smaller—we have an email in to Barneys to find out exactly how many customers were affected by the glitch—it is, after all, Christmas. Seems like a good time of year for e-tailers to get it right.

Update 2:15 pm
We've just received the following statement from Barneys:

We, at Barneys New York, are sincerely apologetic for any inconvenience that occurred while holiday shopping on barneys.com this past week. We are personally reaching out as quickly as possible to every customer who has been affected by this limited, but unfortunate, IT glitch. We deeply value our customers and their satisfaction is most important to us. Again, please accept our deepest apologies.

All Barneys Coverage [Racked]
All Missoni x Target Crash Coverage [Racked]
Barneys.com [official site]