Neiman Marcus' website is down on one of the biggest shopping days of the year

Black Friday, the traditional first day of holiday shopping, is not going smoothly for specialty department store Neiman Marcus. The company’s online site appeared to be suffering from an outage for much of Friday.

Visitors to the Neiman Marcus website were greeted with a page informing them that “We’ll be back soon,” noting that “we’re currently making improvements to our shopping experience,” and providing a toll-free phone number for consumers to call for assistance as well as links to websites for some of its company-owned brands such as Bergdorf Goodman.

CNBC reported that the Neiman Marcus homepage has been mostly unavailable since 8AM ET on Friday, citing data from Catchpoint Systems, which monitors retailer website performance. A spokesperson from Neiman Marcus told CNBC it was looking into the situation.

Here’s what the Neiman Marcus page looked like earlier on Friday:

It’s not an auspicious beginning to a holiday shopping season for Neiman Marcus, and comes amid reports that Thanksgiving weekend sales are not as strong as retailers might have hoped. A Reuters report noted that crowds were thin at many US shopping malls and stores early on Black Friday. The Thanksgiving period is expected to account for up to 20% of holiday shopping this year, according to the report.

Despite thin crowds at physical stores, e-commerce activity appears to be holding up. Online sales in the US between midnight and 5 p.m. ET on Thursday jumped 22 per cent year-on-year, Reuters reported, citing data from Adobe.

That makes website outages particularly painful. Walmart’s website was running slower than usual during the checkout process because of heavy traffic, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

NOW WATCH: A 56-year-old man filmed a conversation with his 18-year-old self, and it’s going viral

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.