November 5, 2010, 5:08 PM

A holiday shopper stampede crashes

Traffic generated from a Facebook-based promotion overwhelmed the site.

Lead Photo crashed early this morning after traffic generated by a Facebook-based promotion overwhelmed the site.

The Lowe’s Black Friday Sneak Peak Party started at 12:01 a.m. and offered 5,000 coupon codes for 90% off on a first-come, first-serve basis, and another 20,000 coupon codes for 20% off, along with other offers. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. The resulting traffic overwhelmed the site, the company says, although the retailer did not say how long the site was down, and information from web monitoring firms was not immediately available.

“The rush to the site simply knocked it offline,” the company wrote on its Facebook wall today. “Despite preparations, we were unable to support the overwhelming traffic.”

The company wrote today that it plans to distribute coupon codes more sporadically during the weekend to prevent another crash.

Lowe’s, No. 81, in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, has more than 211,000 Facebook fans.

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