Waitrose has claimed that only a small number of shoppers were affected by a supply issue with Mother’s Day flowers over the weekend.

The retailer was responding to complaints from shoppers after flowers failing to arrive and others turning up damaged. The complaints come amid problems with delivery service Yodel, which also left many M&S shoppers disappointed this weekend.  

Waitrose had offered to deliver orders on Sunday, but a customer service rep told one consumer that over 70 orders were not fulfilled. Other orders appeared to face substantial delays, with one shopper reporting on Twitter that his flower delivery scheduled for Saturday did not arrive until Sunday evening. 

One shopper complained that he was not contacted by Waitrose until 3pm on Mother’s Day to be warned that flowers would not arrive, while others say they received no communication at all about any problems. 

This is despite Waitrose pledging to deliver Mother’s Day flowers on orders placed up to 10pm the day before. 

In compensation for order no-shows, one customer was offered flowers free of charge, with a delivery date of Tuesday suggested. 

However, even the shoppers who received their order on time were not all satisfied. Several took to Twitter to complain about the appearance of flowers delivered, stating products were either damaged or did not correspond with Waitrose website images. 

A Waitrose spokeswoman said: “our supply chain operated very well over the weekend and, while we are very sorry for the handful of cases where errors were made, it should be pointed out that virtually all orders (99.5%) were successfully delivered.” She added that the number of orders impacted was actually less than 50.

M&S customers were also unhappy this weekend, with Yodel only fulfilling some of the deliveries it had scheduled for Saturday.  

Many customers were notified that “something had gone wrong with their delivery” and that flower arrivals would be delayed. M&S has confirmed that the problem was caused by issues at Yodel’s end and the retailer has said it will refund the small number of orders that were delayed until today. 

Yodel previously came under fire during the Christmas period, when it had to stop accepting parcels for two days in order to clear its backlog of deliveries. For Mother’s Day, Yodel executive chairman Dick Stead said the company would be handling over 400,000 gifts.