Claiming that among its multiple setbacks had been the recent stretch of warm weather, the skiing equipment store reported that it would begin discounting its products until the colder weather returned.
A. its multiple setbacks had been the recent
B. its multiple setbacks had been the recently
C. its multiple setbacks is the recently
D. their multiple setbacks is the recent
E. their multiple setbacks had been the recent
"its" refers to the singular "store"
"stretch" is used as a noun here, not a verb and can be modified only by an adjective "recent"; "recently" would be wrong.
"had been" is correct usage of past perfect progressive because at the time the store reported, the stretched warm weather was existent. Also, "reported" AND "stretch" were both in the past, "reported" being more recent.
Thus, rule out: