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M&S blames a 'systems' issue for bare shelves 

 

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Empty shelves at a Marks & Spencer food store yesterday in Paris, France, as Brexit delayed some deliveries to Europe

Empty shelves at a Marks & Spencer food store yesterday in Paris, France, as Brexit delayed some deliveries to Europe

Empty shelves at a Marks & Spencer food store yesterday in Paris, France, as Brexit delayed some deliveries to Europe

Marks & Spencer has blamed a "systems" issue for empty shelves in stores as shoppers questioned whether it was due to post-Brexit disruption.

A photo of bare shelves at a store in Blackrock in Dublin was posted on social media, with many people wondering if it was due to extra red tape at customs hitting supplies.

The scenes here come after the British supermarket giant ran into problems with its supply chain in France.

There were reports of salads and sandwiches running out at stores in Paris in the days after Britain left the EU.

Goods moving between Britain and the EU have been subject to new customs rules from January 1 since Britain departed the free trade zone.

Here in Ireland, a spokesperson for Marks & Spencer last night said the bare shelves at some stores were due to a "systems" issue.

When asked to explain what this was, she said it was IT-related.

She said there was no further information to share when asked if Brexit was having any impact on supplies.

A shopper posted a photo of bare shelves at the Blackrock store that appeared to have shutters over some of the fridges.

"This is not just M&S, this is Brexit M&S (presumably)," said one tweet.

The shopper claimed she got less than half of what she needed.

Another person claimed the situation was the same at a store in Dundrum and said they assumed it was Brexit-related.

There were some other theories - one person said they hoped it was just a restocking delay after Christmas, while others wondered if the low level of products was due to people panic buying.

Apologise

However, in response to queries from the Herald, the supermarket blamed a 'systems' issue for the empty shelves.

"Due to a systems issue, some of our products are unavailable today," said the Marks & Spencer spokesperson.

"We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

It came after the retailer said that new trade rules in place after Britain left the EU had delayed deliveries of some fresh food to stores in France.

At least three branches were reported to have empty shelves during the week.

Items that were out of stock at Paris stores included black rice, sandwiches, fresh salads and curries.

In a statement relating to the situation in France, Marks & Spencer said it had prepared for changes associated with Britain leaving the EU in order to minimise disruption for customers.

The statement said it was transitioning to the new processes and it was taking a little longer for some of its products to reach stores.

It said it was working with its partners, suppliers and government agencies to quickly improve this.

Before Christmas, M&S warned it was facing increased costs as a result of Brexit.


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