The Co-op has been forced to apologise to customers after an IT issue at one of its depots scuppered deliveries to a host of stores.

The convenience specialist said the problems at its warehouse in Thurrock, Essex impacted availability at “some stores” in the region, although it is unclear exactly how many were affected.

Shoppers took to Twitter to complain about empty shelves, which appeared to have blighted a number of shops.

Bryan Roberts, insights director at TCC Global, was among the first to take to social media on Monday, saying the Co-op looked “a bit out of sorts”.

Shoppers in the Co-op’s Mile End store were overheard asking staff if the store was closing down because shelves were so bare.

A Co-op spokesman said: “On Monday, we had an IT issue at our Thurrock depot, which has affected some stores and caused some localised disruption.

“We are very sorry that this delayed a number of deliveries from the depot, which is now fully operational, and we’re working hard to get products into stores as quickly as possible.”

The issue came just days after the Co-op came under fire from the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) for mistreating suppliers.

The Co-op refunded £500,000 to the suppliers involved after the GCA said there was “reasonable suspicion” the mutual had broken its rules.

It is investigating the Co-op’s delisting of suppliers, and charges imposed for comparing and assessing products to put on the shelves.