Of course they sorta almost had an excuse. I can see how it's not worth it for them to scale their systems for the once a year frenzy over a few hours. And I'm not sure it's a loss for them in the end. At least I persisted and I got my order through. :-)
Fast forward a few days. I'm ordering a first aid kit and a few other things at the Walgreens store. Free shipping! Their web site isn't great but I manage to start the checkout process without any groans.
Now I have to create a user. Oh no, not a good start. I don't care to create a user. But oh well, if done well they just want an email address and not much more that they don't need to ship the items anyway, right? Oh no, wrong.
Are those fields marked as required? No. Do you have to fill out everything else before finding out that they really do require my birth date and gender? Yes. Do they get my money? I don't think so.
There's no reason for them to have that information. Of course the Walgreens executives probably couldn't care less. I can't bother to find their annual report but likely their online store isn't doing well anyway, so why would they care? (oh, to make it do well... I see. Clever).