Luxury department store Harrods website has been taken offline today during peak New Year Sales trading due to “technical difficulties”.

The website has been offline for over 8 hours and engineers have been working all day to rectify the situation.

A Harrods spokesman for the retailer said it hoped to the site would be up and running “fairly quickly”.

The outage comes as a blow to the retailer as bargain savvy shoppers flock online to take advantage of the luxury stores’ New Year Sale.

The reason for the outage is unclear. One customer told Retail Week she was informed by the retailer’s customer service that the site had been attacked by hackers but a Harrods spokesman did not confirm that.