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# For each of the past two years, major department stores have

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Manager
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For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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07 Apr 2013, 07:34
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For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported a nearly 50% increase in their sales of men's clothing manufactured by Zachary, Inc., a result that is all the more surprising because the sales of most other brands of men's clothing have been depressed over the same period. Nevertheless, even Zachary, Inc. does not appear to have emerged unscathed from the overall trend: despite the aforementioned increase, Zachary, Inc. has reported a slight decline in overall sales in each of the past two years.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the surprising result above?

(A) The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years.

(B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half.

(C) Zachary, Inc. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to other manufacturers of men's clothing.

(D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing.

(E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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07 Apr 2013, 10:29
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got stuck between C and E..

Final take is C
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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07 Apr 2013, 23:07
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thinktank wrote:
For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported a nearly 50% increase in their sales of men's clothing manufactured by Zachary, Inc., a result that is all the more surprising because the sales of most other brands of men's clothing have been depressed over the same period. Nevertheless, even Zachary, Inc. does not appear to have emerged unscathed from the overall trend: despite the aforementioned increase, Zachary, Inc. has reported a slight decline in overall sales in each of the past two years.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the surprising result above?

A) The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years.

B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half.

C) Zachary, Inc. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to other manufacturers of men's clothing.

D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing.

E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy.

+1 if u got it right

GENERAL METHOD:

For Resolve the Paradox questions, we must select an answer that can explain both sides of the situation, not only one side. That's the KEY.
Before solving this question, please note that there are two types of answers ALWAYS are incorrect:
1. Explain only one side of the paradox.
2. Just explain the similarities and differences, e.g. if the stimulus contains a paradox where two items are similar, then an answer choice explains a difference between the two cannot be correct.

APPLY:

The logic here is: men clothing manufactured by Zachary increased 50%, but overall sales of Zachary slightly decreased. You see the gap? OVERALL Sales do not mean ONLY men clothing. If you see an answer that shows Zachary men clothing sales increased, but sales of Zachary's products OTHER THAN men clothing decreased. That would be the answer. Because OVERALL SALES = MEN CLOTHING + OTHER PRODUCTS. Only men clothing sales increased is not enough to conclude Overall sales increased.

A) The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years. - WRONG - Out of scope

B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half. - WRONG - Out of scope

C) Zachary, Inc. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to other manufacturers of men's clothing. - CORRECT - Because Zachary's fabric is famous, so many people want to buy men clothing manufactured by the company --> Men clothing sales increased. Besides men clothing, Zachary also sells fabrics to other manufactures. However, other manufactures sales decreased because of weak economy (mentioned in the stimulus), making Zachary's overall sales slightly decreased. Because they are also Zachary's customers. This is the answer!

D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing. - WRONG - Out of scope.

E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy. - WRONG - Please review my note above, the answer that explains only one side is ALWAYS incorrect. E only explains why men clothing sales of Zachary increased, but doesn't explain why Zachary's overall sales decreased. That cannot be the answer.

I hope it helps a little bit.
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2013, 19:02
pqhai wrote:
For Resolve the Paradox questions, we must select an answer that can explain both sides of the situation, not only one side. That's the KEY.
Before solving this question, please note that there are two types of answers ALWAYS are incorrect:
1. Explain only one side of the paradox.

Can you please provide some examples?
That would be gr8 help in understanding this.
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2013, 20:39
dixjatin wrote:
pqhai wrote:
For Resolve the Paradox questions, we must select an answer that can explain both sides of the situation, not only one side. That's the KEY.
Before solving this question, please note that there are two types of answers ALWAYS are incorrect:
1. Explain only one side of the paradox.

Can you please provide some examples?
That would be gr8 help in understanding this.

Hi dixjatin

Thank you. You have a very good question.

The idea of resolve the paradox is that you must give a reason that can explain both sides.
For example: Houses that are near beaches are always expensive. However, many people reduces their house prices that are near South beaches.
If you see any option that explains only one side ==> it is a wrong answer. For example:
* Beach atmosphere is cool and many people want to buy house there --> This option only explains why house near beach are expensive (one side of the paradox). --> wrong answer.

Hope it helps.
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2013, 07:13
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thinktank wrote:
For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported a nearly 50% increase in their sales of men's clothing manufactured by Zachary, Inc., a result that is all the more surprising because the sales of most other brands of men's clothing have been depressed over the same period. Nevertheless, even Zachary, Inc. does not appear to have emerged unscathed from the overall trend: despite the aforementioned increase, Zachary, Inc. has reported a slight decline in overall sales in each of the past two years.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the surprising result above?

A) The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years.

B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half.

C) Zachary, Inc. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to other manufacturers of men's clothing.

D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing.

E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy.

+1 if u got it right

I dont get why answer choice D is wrong.
The passage clearly states that the OVERALL sales are down.

If lets say, they used to sell a lot of women accessories and a lot of leather pants, and now they have stopped producing it, but the sales of their clothing for men has increased, it could still be that overall sales is down?
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2013, 12:03
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E is wrong because the argument discuses discount given on a wrong group ( all clothes) - the paradox is based on men's cloths

While C - the correct answer, discuses the good quality of the fabrics for men's cloths hence explaining why sales have increased due to another set of customers
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2013, 12:07
As for D - it does not address why there seem to be an increase in sales in the men's cloths. The knowledge that Zachary used to manufacture women's accessories but is now only manufacturing men's cloths ADDs nothing to the resolve the argument -
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2013, 15:14
waltiebikkiebal wrote:

I dont get why answer choice D is wrong.
The passage clearly states that the OVERALL sales are down.

If lets say, they used to sell a lot of women accessories and a lot of leather pants, and now they have stopped producing it, but the sales of their clothing for men has increased, it could still be that overall sales is down?

If we take pqhai's equation: OVERALL SALES = MEN CLOTHING + OTHER PRODUCTS, and other products are gone. We are left with: OVERALL SALES = MEN CLOTHING.

How can overall sales then be depressed if the men's clothing sale increases?
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2013, 11:23
I am not convinced that it's C

C points out that Zachary is a renowned brand , so sales could exceed its competitors, but then again those competitors are using the same materials that Zachary uses, so the advantage to Zachary is somewhat lost. Since buyers can buy the same products from other competitors.

E says that the overall quantity of sales have increased so that explains why sales have been doing better than competitors, but the price is discounted, so the overall revenue will be less than previous years. This choice even spells out that the reduction in price was due to economic conditions. IMO choice E explains both points.

Anyone else can give better insight or challenge my logic on this?
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2013, 16:48
SaraLotfy wrote:
I am not convinced that it's C

C points out that Zachary is a renowned brand , so sales could exceed its competitors, but then again those competitors are using the same materials that Zachary uses, so the advantage to Zachary is somewhat lost. Since buyers can buy the same products from other competitors.

E says that the overall quantity of sales have increased so that explains why sales have been doing better than competitors, but the price is discounted, so the overall revenue will be less than previous years. This choice even spells out that the reduction in price was due to economic conditions. IMO choice E explains both points.

Anyone else can give better insight or challenge my logic on this?

I'll try with an example.

Say Z have two departments, men's clothing and fabrics. Further, since the answer choice states Z sells large quantities of fabrics make the sales between the two departments disproportionate.

year 1
men's clothing sales 50
fabrics 1000
overall sales 1050

year 2
men's clothing sales 100
fabrics 900
overall sales 1000

Since the sales of other manufacturers have been sluggish (sell less) they also buy less fabrics for its clothing manufacturing. Also, because changes in z's fabrics department in this ex. has a bigger impact on overall sales, they are likely to perform worse if the trend in the industry is declining.
So, this ans. choice provides a reasonable explanation of why overall sales decreases.

As for e) you write that men's clothing sales have increased due to cheaper clothes. So, this ans. choice only gives a reason for why one department (men's clothing have increased). Also, there is no mention of revenues in the argument. As a result this does nothing in explaining why overall sales decreases.

Remember, we want to explain the "surprising result" that OVERALL SALES have decreased. This is a fact, thus true, and we cannot challenge this.
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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10 May 2014, 17:10
Hi

I do see how C is valid based on the argument above but as a few other posters pointed out, why is D incorrect?

First off, I noted the paradox as: Zach sales have gone up even though other brands have gone down. Isn't "this is all the more surprising" the proper paradox indicator?

Additionally, if we assume that the contrast is between higher revenue in clothing but lower sales, doesn't D answer that? It states that since Zach is ONLY doing clothing, their revenue % is higher but their overall number is lower?

Any experts care to chime in?

Thanks!
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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10 May 2014, 21:15
russ9 wrote:
Hi

I do see how C is valid based on the argument above but as a few other posters pointed out, why is D incorrect?

First off, I noted the paradox as: Zach sales have gone up even though other brands have gone down. Isn't "this is all the more surprising" the proper paradox indicator?

Additionally, if we assume that the contrast is between higher revenue in clothing but lower sales, doesn't D answer that? It states that since Zach is ONLY doing clothing, their revenue % is higher but their overall number is lower?

Any experts care to chime in?

Thanks!

I am no expert, but heres my 2 cents...
The paradox here is Zach's MENS CLOTHING sales have gone up(even though its overall sales have gone down), while other stores have lost sales in the men's clothing department. That would mean Zach's sells other fabrics/products apart from men's clothing.

Option D states exactly opposite of that- it states that 3 years ago Zach used to make leather accessories and women's clothing, but has stopped doing that. Our question is only concerned with the past two years. So D does not help solve the paradox.

Hope I made it a little clear...
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2014, 09:39
thinktank wrote:
For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported a nearly 50% increase in their sales of men's clothing manufactured by Zachary, Inc., a result that is all the more surprising because the sales of most other brands of men's clothing have been depressed over the same period. Nevertheless, even Zachary, Inc. does not appear to have emerged unscathed from the overall trend: despite the aforementioned increase, Zachary, Inc. has reported a slight decline in overall sales in each of the past two years.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the surprising result above?

A) The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years.

B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half.

C) Zachary, Inc. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to other manufacturers of men's clothing.

D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing.

E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy.

+1 if u got it right

I would be skeptical before questioning the quality of the question..In fact I believe MGMAT guys are better than the GMAC at brewing GMAT questions
but still I took the men's clothing departmental sales to be the sale of ready made clothes and not fabric cloth..So when C mentioned about the fabric sales..I took it to be an irrelevant and an altogether different section of the sales..
Am I right in doubting the question here or we can expect this ambiguity on the GMAT too..??
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2014, 20:34
Sometimes CR questions totally fox me and it is not because they are difficult but because they adopt different postures for different questions. C to me looks irrelevant. The question stem contrasts the increase in sale of MEN's clothing with the decrease in OVERALL sales. To me D looks like a point which indicates anything on the decrease in overall sales.

So lets say earlier Zachary Inc was selling 100 men clothing ( MC) + 100 Others. Now the others divison is sold up and the MC has increased its sales by 50 % thus equal to 150. Total sales of Zachary is 150 which is less than the earlier total of 200 inspite of showing a marked increase in sale of man's clothing.

Not convinced with the answer and how it is not out of scope
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2014, 02:20
Quote:
D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing. - WRONG - Out of scope.

Can someone please tell me why not D or why s it out of scope? They have been selling other things as well like women's clothing. So though there was an increase in sales of men's clothing their overall sales saw a decline coz they were probably not able to sell other clothing. Could nt that be considered ?
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2014, 13:01
janxavier wrote:
Quote:
D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing. - WRONG - Out of scope.

Can someone please tell me why not D or why s it out of scope? They have been selling other things as well like women's clothing. So though there was an increase in sales of men's clothing their overall sales saw a decline coz they were probably not able to sell other clothing. Could nt that be considered ?

Cant say out of scope..but it explains just one part..that too not so strongly..
It doesnt explain the increase in sales of just Zachary
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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05 Nov 2014, 21:07
Hi, OA is C, but I had a question about A. Doesn't A help explain the discrepancy as well?

Assumption is that the boutique stores are actually big enough to compensate for the units sold by the department stores. That being said, even though the sales at the boutique stores have stayed the same, we have no indication of what the sales were 3 years ago, we just know that the sales for the past 2 years have remained constant. The sales for the past two years COULD be higher than the sales from 3 years ago, so it could mean that the higher sales at the boutique stores could compensate the drop in sales at the department stores.

If I look at C, I still have to make assumptions such as, the mfg's that are buying the fabrics are also selling at the retail stores, the sales of the fabrics makes up for the loss in clothes sold by ZAC. I feel as though both these statements involve a bunch of assumptions.
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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13 May 2015, 05:40
thinktank wrote:
For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported a nearly 50% increase in their sales of men's clothing manufactured by Zachary, Inc., a result that is all the more surprising because the sales of most other brands of men's clothing have been depressed over the same period. Nevertheless, even Zachary, Inc. does not appear to have emerged unscathed from the overall trend: despite the aforementioned increase, Zachary, Inc. has reported a slight decline in overall sales in each of the past two years.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the surprising result above?

A) The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years.

B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half.

C) Zachary, Inc. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to other manufacturers of men's clothing.

D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing.

E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy.

+1 if u got it right

ITS C .C explains why market of men's clothing only increased in Zachary.
Other sectors declined in Zachary as well as in other markets.
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2015, 03:15
[quote="thinktank"]For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported a nearly 50% increase in their sales of men's clothing manufactured by Zachary, Inc., a result that is all the more surprising because the sales of most other brands of men's clothing have been depressed over the same period. Nevertheless, even Zachary, Inc. does not appear to have emerged unscathed from the overall trend: despite the aforementioned increase, Zachary, Inc. has reported a slight decline in overall sales in each of the past two years.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the surprising result above?

A) The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years.

B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half.

C) Zachary, Inc. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to other manufacturers of men's clothing.

D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing.

E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy.

e-Gmat Plz help with clarification ----
Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have   [#permalink] 16 Aug 2015, 03:15

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