One of my favorite metaphors is the mine canary, the little songbirds that traditionally traveled with miners on their trips into the earth. The birds functioned as early warning detectors: if there was a buildup of poisonous gas, the canary would die from it very quickly, leaving the miner with enough time to escape relatively unscathed.
The miners' canary is particularly relevant now, as we seem to be approaching a recession. Given the increased costs of essential items, it seems likely that luxury items will become a much harder sell and stores which rely on them will start to have major cashflow problems.
Enter Sharper Image.