Time to shop 'til I drop

Sandra Harwitt

Shoppers rifle through sales bins during Harrods annual summer sale.

In England, tradition is that stores run only biannual sales: a winter sale and a summer sale.

These days, probably in deference to the economic climate, many stores have parted ways with the two-sales policy. Others have kept to the program.

Luckily for those coming to Wimbledon, the summer sales coincide with the championship dates. For the American crowd, even the sales aren't always a bargain considering the exchange rate. However, there's always something to buy.

The most illustrious of stores, Harrods, turns from chic to near flea market status, as shoppers rummage through tables stocked with sale merchandise.

I must confess that since arriving in London after the French Open on June 11, I've been visiting the stores. I am guilty of doing more than just browsing. Let's just say I could apply for mini Imelda Marcos Shoe Fetish Queen status, having purchased four new pairs already. And there's still nearly two weeks left to shop 'til I drop -- if I can find the time between the tennis.

Of course, the challenge will be to fit the new purchases into my suitcases to get home. Oh yes, I've been here before -- it's my 20th time covering Wimbledon -- and I know one suitcase won't cut it.

And, if you wouldn't mind, don't alert the U.S. customs to my shoe purchases. Thanks for that.