M&S website and app hit by technical issue

A screenshot of the M&S website with the technical issue message
Customers were greeted with this message when they tried to access the M&S website [PA Media]

Customers were unable to use Marks and Spencer's website and app for several hours on Saturday after it was hit by a technical issue.

The website and app were back up and running by 18:15 BST.

During the outage, users saw an error message on the homepage and could not navigate to any part of the website.

An M&S spokeswoman told the BBC a problem with a third party provider had been "temporarily affecting access".

The company added it was "sorry to customers for the inconvenience caused".

Problems with access to the website and app were first reported on X, formerly Twitter, from around lunchtime on Saturday.

The website came back online after 17:00 BST, only to go back to the original error message a short time later, but it was up and running again before 18:00 BST.

The app was still showing a notice about a technical glitch for a short while after but is now operating normally.

Its notice read: "Sorry you can't shop through the app right now.

"We're busy making some planned changes, but will be back soon."

Some customers complained on social media that they had been unable to use their Sparks card - the company's loyalty scheme - as they did not have a physical card and claimed they had lost out on savings.

In March, supermarket Sainsbury's was also hit with technical issues. It was unable to carry out most of its online grocery orders after an overnight update caused contactless payments to fail.