Police were called to Ikea in Tameside this afternoon after the click and collect service descended into ‘chaos’, witnesses said.
Drivers have been waiting in their queues for as long as three hours without being able to pick up their purchases.
One eyewitness said some frustrated shoppers had become abusive towards staff and police were briefly called to the scene.
Jo Griffin tweeted: “Lots of traffic around Ikea at Ashton Moss.
“People getting out of their cars and shouting abuse and threatening IKEA staff. It’s really no way to behave – they are only trying to keep people safe. Police now on site.”
A spokesperson for Ikea confirmed police were called to deal with ‘an isolated customer issue’ and apologised for the delays which were blamed on ‘unprecedented demand.’
Sam Scholes drove from near Preston with her partner to pick up some kitchen shelving – but gave up after waiting for 45 minutes in standstill traffic.
“We got the text yesterday to say come and pick it up any time on Sunday,” said Sam.
“They said ring us when you get here.
“The traffic was backed up pretty much from the first roundabout as you come off the M60. “
“My partner rang and they said ‘you might have to wait, there’s nothing else you can do.’
“We sat there waiting patiently for 45 minutes and then it was becoming chaos.
“People were going across the yellow hatchings.
“Eventually police came round and pushed their way to the front and parked across the entrance.
“From what I could see the police officer was trying to get people to move on.”
When the M.E.N. visited this afternoon at around 2pm there was still a long queue of traffic up to the entrance of Ikea although police had left the scene.
“It’s ridiculous to be honest,” said Sam.
“How could it take such a long process?”
“They must have known the volume of people that would turn up.
“Something has gone wrong.”
All Ikea stores are temporarily closed to comply with the coronavirus lockdown.
But the company announced earlier this month that it was cutting the cost of its click and collect service to £5 or free if customers spend £100 or more.
An IKEA spokesperson said: “We are really sorry for the disruption at IKEA Manchester today.
“This was caused by unprecedented demand during these exceptional times where life at home has never been more important.
“We can confirm that police were called to deal with an isolated customer issue and have now left the site.
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“We have been doing everything that we can to serve customers on this incredibly busy Sunday and we have increased staff capacity in our store to manage the click & collect service.
“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and for shopping with IKEA.”
The M.E.N. was unable to reach Greater Manchester Police for comment.