December 13, 2012, 1:04 PM

Walmart.com goes down

The site problem arrives less than two weeks before Christmas.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

An error message on the site.

Walmart.com went down today, 12 days before Christmas, for unspecified reasons. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is No. 4 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

“We are working to resolve the issue and expect the site to be available shortly,” a Wal-Mart spokesman said just after 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, declining to provide more details. “We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.”

According to web site performance monitor provider AlertBot, the problems started at about noon Eastern time. The retail chain’s e-commerce site “experienced an HTTP 500 error, which is a generic internal server error,” an AlertBot spokesman says.  “Since then only the headers and footers of the website are being shown.”

AlertBot did not know what caused the problem. “This appears to be a problem with Walmart's database. Either there is an issue with the database or the database servers are experiencing problems.”

The site appeared to be back to normal by 4 p.m. Eastern.

The site outage comes amid the busy holiday shopping period. Last last week, Wal-Mart said that Cyber Monday—the first Monday after Thanksgiving—was Walmart.com’s best day in history, but gave no specifics.

 

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