One of the biggest supermarkets in Edinburgh was left with empty shelves on Tuesday after it was accidentally wiped off a computer system at the company's head office in Leeds.
Deliveries to the Asda store in Chesser, Edinburgh, dried up after an IT worker deleted the shop from a delivery computer, according to a report in The Scotsman newspaper. As a result, essential re-orders were not processed and the shelves were rapidly cleared of fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, eggs and other high-turnover items.
The company claimed that it was the only store affected by the glitch and that it took control by re-ordering manually while the problem was identified and fixed. "We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers because of this system glitch," it told The Scotsman.
The newspaper reported the reaction of one regular shopper, Patricia Meldrum. She said: "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 error was identified, the mistake was quickly rectified, but it still took until Thursday before the store was back to normal
The error, predictably, was highlighted on Twitter. Andrew Wynne (@AndyWynne85) Tweeted: "Asda: Not everyone shopping after eight just wants pizza and beer. Where's all the veg and salad gone?
Another, Lesley Beck (@LesleyBeck) Tweeted a picture of empty shelves, adding, "Asda Chesser. You'd have thought they'd have noticed the issue with their re-stocking system before it got this bad."