The Great Debate
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions here are his own.
Ivan Glasenberg outlasted all his major peers after the multi-year boom in metals prices turned into a rout in 2013. The Glencore chief’s misjudgment of the market severely tried investors’ patience in 2015. Yet when the second wave of mining executive ousters comes, as it may soon, it’s likely Glasenberg will again be the last man standing.
Driving across West Baltimore recently, I got stuck at an intersection behind a slow-moving truck. After sitting through two cycles at the traffic signal, I inched my car forward to see what was blocking the way. Normally, trucks are delivering beer to liquor stores in this neighborhood. But on that unseasonably warm late fall day, the truck was bringing something that is always in demand in Charm City — caskets.
Less is more. But apparently luxury companies don’t feel that applies to their swollen store networks. Labels like Prada and LVMH have spent a decade expanding rapidly to meet emerging market demand. Slowing sales and overexposure suggest it’s time to go the other way. While cutting back will be painful, it could spur higher luxury valuations.