Although the discount stores in Goreville s central shopping : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Although the discount stores in Goreville s central shopping

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Although the discount stores in Goreville s central shopping [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2013, 02:06
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Question Stats:

65% (02:38) correct 35% (01:41) wrong based on 92 sessions

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Although the discount stores in Goreville’s central shopping district are expected to close within five years as a result of competition from a SpendLess discount department store that just opened, those locations will not stay vacant for long. In the five years since the opening of Colson’s, a nondiscount department store, a new store has opened at the
location of every store in the shopping district that closed because it could not compete with Colson’s.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. Many customers of Colson’s are expected to do less shopping there than they did before the SpendLess store opened.
B. Increasingly, the stores that have opened in the central shopping district since Colson’s opened have been discount stores.
C. At present, the central shopping district has as many stores operating in it as it ever had.
D. Over the course of the next five years, it is expected that Goreville’s population will grow at a faster rate than it has for the past several decades.
E. Many stores in the central shopping district sell types of merchandise that are not available at either SpendLess or Colson’s.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Although the discount stores in Goreville’s central shopping [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2013, 02:37
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ratinarace wrote:
Although the discount stores in Goreville’s central shopping district are expected to close within five years as a result of competition from a SpendLess discount department store that just opened, those locations will not stay vacant for long. In the five years since the opening of Colson’s, a nondiscount department store, a new store has opened at the
location of every store in the shopping district that closed because it could not compete with Colson’s.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. Many customers of Colson’s are expected to do less shopping there than they did before the SpendLess store opened.
B. Increasingly, the stores that have opened in the central shopping district since Colson’s opened have been discount stores.
C. At present, the central shopping district has as many stores operating in it as it ever had.
D. Over the course of the next five years, it is expected that Goreville’s population will grow at a faster rate than it has for the past several decades.
E. Many stores in the central shopping district sell types of merchandise that are not available at either SpendLess or Colson’s.

Hi ratinarace,

Conclusion: those locations will not stay vacant for long, ie new stores will open.

Assumption: a similar situation happened previously and the same will happen in future.

The correct answer should attack this assumption and thus weaken the conclusion.

(E) says that many stores sell merchandise not available in either of the two stores. Many stores not necessarily means many discount stores. So, it goes beyond the scope of the stimulus as we do not know which of these many stores are discount stores.

(B) says that the stores that have opened since Colson's nondiscount stores are discount stores. They were able to compete with a nondiscount store previously, but Spendless is a discount store, so the existing discount stores will close as expected because of competition.

Hope that helps,

Vercules
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Re: Although the discount stores in Goreville’s central shopping [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2013, 02:40
Ah!! I missed to read "Discount Stores" Thanks!!
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Re: Although the discount stores in Goreville s central shopping [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2013, 10:34
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ratinarace wrote:
Although the discount stores in Goreville’s central shopping district are expected to close within five years as a result of competition from a SpendLess discount department store that just opened, those locations will not stay vacant for long. In the five years since the opening of Colson’s, a nondiscount department store, a new store has opened at the location of every store in the shopping district that closed because it could not compete with Colson’s.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. Many customers of Colson’s are expected to do less shopping there than they did before the SpendLess store opened.
B. Increasingly, the stores that have opened in the central shopping district since Colson’s opened have been discount stores.
C. At present, the central shopping district has as many stores operating in it as it ever had.
D. Over the course of the next five years, it is expected that Goreville’s population will grow at a faster rate than it has for the past several decades.
E. Many stores in the central shopping district sell types of merchandise that are not available at either SpendLess or Colson’s
.

Quote:
Hi Mike, I am utterly confused in this problem as i am not able to understand where to begin n where to end. May be right now, i don't have the right bend of mind. Can you explain in detail how to solve this problem. Waiting eagerly for your precious explanation. Regards, Fame

Dear Fame,
This is a hard question. I would say that Vercules gave an excellent explanation above.

Fact = new SpendLess discount department store (i.e. Walmart) has opened
Fact = as a result, the discount stores in Goreville’s central shopping district are expected to close within five years

Conclusion ---- "those locations will not stay vacant for long"

This is an argument by analogy
SpendLess: downtown discount stores :: Colson’s: downtown nondiscount stores
The author essentially says --- since the Colson's situation is like the SpendLess situation, we will see the same result --- storefronts won't stay empty for long. We are asked to weaken this argument.

The way to weaken an argument by analogy is to show that it's not a good analogy, i.e. that there's some crucial difference that separates the two situations.

Let's think about these situations more carefully:
SITUATION #1 (factual)
(a) at the start, lots of nondiscount stores downtown
(b) then Colson's opens, competes with them
(c) nondiscount stores downtown start to close
(d) BUT, other stores take their place
SITUATION #2 (part factual, part predicted)
(a) at the start, lots of discount stores downtown (fact)
(b) then SpendLess opens, competes with them (fact)
(c) discount stores downtown start to close (confident expectation)
(d) BUT, other store will take their place (author's conclusion)

The problem lies in step (d) --- what other stores took over the empty storefront?

IF, in Scenario #1, some nondiscount stores that couldn't compete with Colson's moved out, but other nondiscount stores were able to figure out how to compete with Colson's and moved in, more stores of the same niche, then that would strengthen the argument by analogy, that other discount stores will figure out how to compete with SpendLess in its niche and successfully take the place of the discount stores that close.

BUT IF, in Scenario #1, after the nondiscount store that couldn't compete with Colson's moved out, discount stores moved into those spaces --- well, discount store are a different niche, not necessarily direct competitors of something like Colson's. Furthermore, in economically challenging times, discounts stores will always have an edge over non-discount stores. This explains why new stores, stores of a difference niche, could occupy those empty store fronts in Scenario #1. BUT, the situation now looks very different in scenario #2 --- if the discount stores are being forced out of business by SpendLess, what on earth is going to take their place? That is, if discount stores have an advantage vis-a-vis nondiscount stores, what kind of stores have a similar advantage vis-a-vis discount stores? There really isn't anything like that. Therefore, the analogy is not good, and contrary to the author of the argument, we can't expect the storefronts that will become vacant downtown to fill anytime soon.

Choice (B) goes to the heart of this --- it let's us know that the stores that replaced Colson's unsuccessful competitors were not more non-discount stores, stores in that same category, but discount store --- a switch to a more advantageous category. Economically, that's a one-trick-pony --- you can't "one up" the category of stores again.

The other answers are tempting but not correct. For example, (E) tries to call into question the evidence --- never a successful strategy. We know Colson's competitors closed, regardless of whether they sold items not available at Colsons. That's fact. According to the argument, we expect SpendLess's discount story competitors also to close --- again, regardless of what unique discount trinkets they sell. Apparently, this is an irrelevant point --- regardless of what they sell, these smaller competitor stores will close. The evidence presented in the argument is true --- you never gain ground on GMAT CR "weaken" questions by calling the evidence into question.

Finally, one thing that makes this argument much easier to interpret is knowing the real-world reference. The chain Walmart (called here "SpendLess") has decimated downtown shopping districts by the thousand across America. This argument is very much about this all-too-common scenario. GMAT CR arguments often draw on real world situations, especially in the business world ----- if you are planning to take the GMAT and get an MBA, you absolutely have to be up-to-date with the economic news. This will give you an enormous advantage in the GMAT CR.

This post .....
... talks about how reading The Economist can help you with GMAT RC, but it can also help with CR. In fact, the writing quality is very high, so it provides an excellent example of grammar for the GMAT SC as well!

Does all this make sense?

Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Re: Although the discount stores in Goreville s central shopping   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2013, 10:34
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