Penneys’ new “shop by appointment” service is already experiencing a high volume of demand, with customers facing a waiting times of two to four hours just to get a booking.
The clothing retailer says its 36 stores in the Republic will reopen on a shopping by appointment basis on Monday, May 10th.
The booking system, which went live on the retailer's website – Primark. com">Primark.com – this morning allows for 100 slots per hour in each store, with one person per booking.
However, within hours of the launch, waiting times to get an appointment had soared. At one point, customers were told they faced a waiting time of up to four hours.
“We are experiencing a high volume of traffic and using a virtual queue system to monitor the amount of users on the website at the same time. This will ensure you have the best possible online experience,” the company said.
The Government plans to reopen non-essential retail on a phased basis, starting next week with click and collect and shop by appointment services.
This comes ahead of a full reopening on May 17th.
"Customers can book an appointment to shop in any Penneys store next week exclusively through its online booking system at Primark.com which opened at 10am this morning," Penneys said in a statement.
“With limited numbers allowed in store, appointments are expected to book out quickly, but anyone disappointed thankfully won’t have to wait much longer, as all Penneys stores will reopen fully on Monday, May 17th,” it added.
The company said it would extend opening hours across every store initially to help reduce queues.
Penneys chief executive Paul Marchant said: "Safety remains at the front of our minds. We have extended opening hours across all our stores to help meet demand safely but we're also asking our customers to keep up the support and spirit they showed last year, particularly if queuing outside or in-store."