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Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are

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Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 06:09
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Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are barely making a profit. We cannot raise rents because of unacceptably high risk of losing our tenants. On the other hand,a mall that is fully occupied costs as much to run as one with a rental space here and a rental space there free. Clearly, therefore, to increase profits we must sign up new tenants.

Which of the following, if true, weakens the argument:

A) The mall's operating costs could be cut by consolidating currently rented spaces in such a way that an entire wing of the mall could be closed up.

b)The mall is located in a geographic area where the costs for air conditioning in the summers far exceed the cost of heating during the mild winters.

C)The mall's occupancy rate though low, has been relatively stable during the last few years.

D)The mall lost tenants as a result of each of the two drastic rent increases that have occured here.

E)None of the established tenants is likely to need additional floor space in the near future.

The conclusion of the argument is that to increase profits, the mall should sign up new tenants.
We must find something that says that even after the addition of new tenants, the profits will not go up.

However, after scanning the answer choices, I could not find any which could weaken this conclusion. However, choice A, an alternate means to achieving this goal is the correct answer.

Could you explain why this is so? Clearly this is not a causal argument
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by Narenn on 18 Jul 2013, 10:45, edited 2 times in total.
OA Added, Topic Renamed
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Re: Alternate cause a weakener? [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 06:55
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12bhang wrote:
Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are barely making a profit. We cannot raise rents because of unacceptably high risk of losing our tenants. On the other hand,a mall that is fully occupied costs as much to run as one with a rental space here and a rental space there free. Clearly, therefore, to increase profits we must sign up new tenants.

Which of the following, if true, weakens the argument:

A) The mall's operating costs could be cut by consolidating currently rented spaces in such a way that an entire wing of the mall could be closed up.

b)The mall is located in a geographic area where the costs for air conditioning in the summers far exceed the cost of heating during the mild winters.

C)The mall's occupancy rate though low, has been relatively stable during the last few years.

D)The mall lost tenants as a result of each of the two drastic rent increases that have occurred here.

E)None of the established tenants is likely to need additional floor space in the near future.

The conclusion of the argument is that to increase profits, the mall should sign up new tenants.
We must find something that says that even after the addition of new tenants, the profits will not go up.

However, after scanning the answer choices, I could not find any which could weaken this conclusion. However, choice A, an alternate means to achieving this goal is the correct answer.

Could you explain why this is so? Clearly this is not a causal argument


While concluding that to increase profits we must sign up new tenants, it is assumed that signing new tenants is the only way to increase the profits. To weaken the conclusion we need to attack this assumption. The choice that would suggest any alternate way of increasing profit would be correct.

A) By consolidating rented spaces we can cut down the operating cost, thereby can increase the profit - no matter by what proportion will it be. So this choice is suggesting an alternate way to increase profits. This can undermine the conclusion. CORRECT

B) Cost of air conditioning the mall is more than heating it. Irrelevant. INCORRECT

C) Mall's occupancy rate has been consistently low. Hence minor profit. INCORRECT

D) This choice suggest that you can not increase the profit my increasing the rate but does not suggest any alternate way to do so. INCORRECT

E) Existing tenants will not sign new contracts for additional floor space. Out of Scope. INCORRECT
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Re: Alternate cause a weakener? [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 08:54
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12bhang wrote:
Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are barely making a profit. We cannot raise rents because of unacceptably high risk of losing our tenants. On the other hand,a mall that is fully occupied costs as much to run as one with a rental space here and a rental space there free. Clearly, therefore, to increase profits we must sign up new tenants.

Which of the following, if true, weakens the argument:

A) The mall's operating costs could be cut by consolidating currently rented spaces in such a way that an entire wing of the mall could be closed up.

b)The mall is located in a geographic area where the costs for air conditioning in the summers far exceed the cost of heating during the mild winters.

C)The mall's occupancy rate though low, has been relatively stable during the last few years.

D)The mall lost tenants as a result of each of the two drastic rent increases that have occured here.

E)None of the established tenants is likely to need additional floor space in the near future.

The conclusion of the argument is that to increase profits, the mall should sign up new tenants.
We must find something that says that even after the addition of new tenants, the profits will not go up.

However, after scanning the answer choices, I could not find any which could weaken this conclusion. However, choice A, an alternate means to achieving this goal is the correct answer.

Could you explain why this is so? Clearly this is not a causal argument


Hi,

Narenn has very aptly explained the reason why choice A is the answer. The keyword here is "must" - the conclusion says that there is only way to increase profits i.e. by signing up new tenants. Now, in this case. anything that suggests another way to increase profits would be valid weakener. Option A does the same by focusing on reduction of costs. Another way to weaken is by suggesting a way to increase revenues without signing up new tenants.

The key to solving all CR questions is the ability to fully understand the conclusion of the argument. If you rejected option A because it is presenting an alternate way to achieve the result and the argument is not causal, then you are depending too much on frameworks and rules. You need to think on your feet. Think smartly. Think what exactly the conclusion is saying. The most important word here was "must" and if you had grasped that, the question of rejecting option A would not have arisen.

If the conclusion had been:

We can increase profits by signing up new tenants.

In such a case, option A would not be the correct answer, as my article on Alternate cause explains.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 23:00
Thank you Chiranjeev for the very nice explanation.
I too had made the mistake to not consider "Must" in the argument.
The takeaway from this question is always read the conclusion in detail and dont miss out on small details in the conclusion.
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Re: Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2013, 07:15
I used POE to find the Answer.
sometime wording is difficult to understand .
so better to scan other options.
in this case other choices were easier to eliminate..
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Re: Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2013, 08:59
Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are barely making a profit. We cannot raise rents because of unacceptably high risk of losing our tenants. On the other hand,a mall that is fully occupied costs as much to run as one with a rental space here and a rental space there free. Clearly, therefore, to increase profits we must sign up new tenants.

The following emerges-
Premise- The mall has empty spaces.
Premise- Operating costs remain same for fully occupied mall or one with spaces, as here.
Conclusion- To increase profits we must sign up new tenants.

Ans should give alternative that can increase profits.

A) The mall's operating costs could be cut by consolidating currently rented spaces in such a way that an entire wing of the mall could be closed up.

This suggests an alternative. Signing new tenants is not a must for profit making anymore !!!! Correct answer...
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Re: Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2014, 01:56
I narrowed this one down to A and D. In other words, I reached one of the hardest steps in solving CR questions: find which one is better!

I discarded D because of only one word "drastic". So, previously the mall imposed some drastic increases in rent. Consequently, the mall lost tenants. However, the argument does not imply whether the owner intends to increase the rent for 10% or for 100%. While it is true that answer choice D is a contender and a trap answer, it fails the "one word" test.
Re: Mall owner: Our mall's occupancy rate is so low that we are   [#permalink] 30 Jul 2014, 01:56
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