In a crushing blow to those are hoping to complete their collection of plastic Little Shop toys – and those who want to buy groceries, I guess – a number of Coles supermarkets are closed this morning, thanks to what has been described as a nation-wide register outage.

It it understood that some locations remain open in spite of the outage, but there are reports that stores down the east coast of Queensland from Cairns to the Gold Coast have been turning shoppers away, and Coles branches in major Sydney shopping centres have also closed their doors.

Many potential customers this morning have been greeted with a printed notice, reading:

“We apologise. Our store is currently closed due to circumstances beyond our control. We are working to resolve the issue and will re-open as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

A sign on the door of the Lane Cove store on the Lower North Shore says that an “IT issue” is to blame for the closure, and that branches will reopen once the issue is fixed.

The supermarket giant has not yet addressed the outage on its social media channels, or given any indication of when it anticipates a solution.

Customers appear to be taking the outage about as well as expected, with eyewitnesses reporting “panic, calm, tears and some guy watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Netflix.”

Together, we will make it through this national nightmare.

UPDATE: As of around lunch time Sunday, Coles says that the issue has been fixed and its supermarkets are trading once again.

Image: Getty Images / Ian Waldie