By Patrick Avenell
The celebration of online retail so heavily promoted by public relations in Fairfax newspapers has become an embarrassment for the retailers and the organisers, with most of the websites hosting sales crashing due to high demand.
Although Click Frenzy has caused a stir in the media, actual sales have been blighted by websites not being able to cope with the enormous traffic. When Current.com.au attempted to visit the Myer and Kogan websites shortly after the Frenzy began, both were down. Dick Smith's website was loading, albeit very slowly, while Bing Lee's was showing an Error 503 message.
The biggest embarrassment of all, however, is reserved for Click Frenzy and its organiser, Power Retail. Although it bills itself as the online retail bible, Click Frenzy's own website is crashing. When Current.com.au attempted to access the site at 1937, we received the following message:
"Other users are also experiencing difficulties connecting to this site, so you may have to wait a few minutes."
Embarrassment: Click Frenzy's own website wasn't loading.
David Jones, which was not participating in Click Frenzy, but in its own iconoclastic Christmas Frenzy, was also suffering from website outages throughout the afternoon and evening.
The website of rival electronics retailer, JB Hi-Fi, which is not partipacting in Click Frenzy, is working perfectly.
Meanwhile, Harvey Norman has used the distraction of Click Frenzy to shut down its online store for maintenance: