Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm a Sales-Scrum Survivor; CITY LIVES

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm a Sales-Scrum Survivor; CITY LIVES

Article excerpt


ACCORDING to Harrods, " There Is Only One Sale". And sure enough, it is the only one I've been to. This is because the experience was so mind-judderingly dreadful that it put me off sales shopping not only for life, but possibly for all eternity.

If they'd been giving the clothes away free, it couldn't have been more of a scrum, with one man literally knocking me sideways in his rush to get where he was going (to the department for rude people, presumably).

On the plus side, Harrods had cleverly deterred anyone with a buggy from enjoying the sales by positioning poles in the middle of each escalator. As the mother of a 10-month-old baby, this should have annoyed me, but since I recently sustained a painful ankle injury from being rammed in the leg by a wayward Quinny then I'm happy to accept that buggies and sales shopping don't mix.

After asking three different (and presumably temporary) sales assistants for directions to International Collections, I finally found said room.

And my, what glorious bargains there were. What a shame, then, that customers were made to try them on in a makeshift corner of the store that has been draped with cloth. Whatever happened to clothes hooks?

If Harrods wants us to shove the designer garments we are trying on on a dusty floor, then fair enough, but I don't want to treat my own clothes in such a fashion. Besides, if you are mulling over a [pounds sterling]2,500 Oscar de la Renta balldress (as was the woman shoved in next to me) do you really want to be doing it in a communal changing room? I know I don't. And nor do my thighs, for that matter. Communal changing rooms are awful at the best of times, but in January, they are terrifying.

I bought a dress for [pounds sterling]149 - 50 per cent off, which wasn't bad. The slip was missing, but when I asked for a further reduction I was offered an extra [pounds sterling]9 - pretty mean, considering the dress was see-through without it. "Maybe you'd like to wear it that way," said the sales assistant, proving once and for all that the service-is better at Harvey Nichols.

Some might say that a see-through dress with a missing slip by a littleknown American designer is a foolish sales buy, but I don't care: I really like it. Less capricious buyers (and hardened fashion nuts) will, of course, go for the classics.

At Harrods, the Balenciaga section was heaving, and if I ever wore faultlessly tailored black trousers, then that is where I'd head. But such a purchase would depend on having a waist. And while it would be nice to have a waist, at least the lack of one makes sales shopping that much easier.

Because whatever is in next season, all I'm looking for is smock dresses.

Please, Big Brother, throw away the key

THIS time last year, I was heavily pregnant. …

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