Too many people are dying on Mt. Everest–11 people so far this year, including one just this past week. That makes it one of the deadliest climbing seasons ever, and many of the deaths preventable, since we’re not talking avalanches, blizzards or high winds. Fingers point every which way: Fly-by-night adventure companies are being blamed for not preparing trekkers for the extreme elements and high altitude; Nepal is being blamed for issuing too many permits to bring in much-needed cash; Tourists themselves are being blamed for overestimating their abilities, and lacking experience (You know the type). Realistically, it’s a combination of everything–all contributing to overcrowding. That gets especially dangerous at the so-called “Death Zone” near the top of the mountain. Climbers say they’ve seen hours-long lines of more than 100 people – many pushing, shoving, taking selfies, and even climbing over dead bodies as their oxygen supply runs low – upon reaching the coveted summit (29,029 feet high).
On Wednesday, three fashion stocks – Abercombie & Fitch, Capri Holdings (formerly known as Michael Kors), and Canada Goose – fell enough to wipe out an astounding $2.9 billion in stock market value. Where’s the blame? Not all on e-commerce. Abercrombie, down 26% (the most since going public in 1996), says its flagships are too big and expensive; Capri’s Michael Kors, down 10%, says its brand is diluted because it’s selling in too many department stores; and Canada Goose, down 31% (the most since its 2017 IPO), says it’s the….weather. The takeaway (since all newsletters seem to have a dang takeaway) is this: there are essentially two types of retail stores that are thriving – “small” (Hence, the expansion of “urban” stores–Target and Ikea are doing this), and “experiential” (Think: Casper, Allbirds). To save face in what is yet another challenging year for retailers, Abercrombie is shutting down three flagships, and shrinking other stores as it looks to provide a more “intimate” environment; Kors is pulling out of malls, and banking on its new luxury divisions (Versace, Jimmy Choo); and $$$ parka maker Canada Goose is…appealing to Mother Nature? #investorsarerattled
A couple of days ago, Amanda Eller, the hiker who had been missing in Hawaii for 17 days, and was miraculously found alive in a forest, spoke to the media about her ordeal. The 35-year-old physical therapist says she followed a ‘voice’ down an unfamiliar trail that led to this path, that path, and the other until she came to the realization she was completely lost. Eller, who was without a cell phone, and didn’t bring any food/drinks, survived on berries, stream water, and the power of will. She was spotted when one of several helicopters, surveying the area for the umpteenth time, saw movement. Eller suffered a leg fracture, abrasions, and a severe sunburn, but was otherwise in pretty good physical condition when found. #forevergrateful