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Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts

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Re: Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
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WaterFlowsUp
Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts for their customers. Since customers using shopping carts tend to buy more than those without shopping carts, most of these stores are experiencing strong sales growth, while most other department stores are not. Therefore, in order to boost sales, managers of Jerrod’s, Montalia’s premier department store, are planning to purchase shopping carts and make them available to the store’s customers next month.

Which of the following, if true, casts most doubt whether the managers’ plan, if implemented, will achieve its goal?

(A) Since most customers associate shopping carts with low-quality discount stores, Jerrod’s high quality image would likely suffer if shopping carts were introduced.

(B) Because the unemployment rate has declined to very low levels, Jerrod’s now has to pay significantly higher wages in order to retain its staff.

(C) A number of department stores that did not make shopping carts available to their customers have had to close recently due to falling profits.

(D) Shopping carts are not very expensive, but they generally need to be replaced every few years.

(E) Stores that make shopping carts available to their customers usually have to hire people to retrieve the carts from parking areas.

Premise: Customers using shopping carts tend to buy more than those without shopping carts

Plan: purchase shopping carts and make them available to the store’s customers next month.
Aim: Boost sales (profit has not been mentioned. We are talking about increasing sales)

What will weaken the plan i.e. make it less likely to succeed?

(A) Since most customers associate shopping carts with low-quality discount stores, Jerrod’s high quality image would likely suffer if shopping carts were introduced.

We know that with shopping carts, people buy more but if Jerrod's has a high quality image and that will suffer because of shopping carts, perhaps fewer people will visit it. Shopping cart could be a reason some people buy more but it could also be a reason that some people stop coming to Jerrod's altogether. Hence this does decrease the probability of the plan succeeding. The argument only mentions the pros of having shopping carts. But this option mentions the cons and hence shows that the plan may not achieve its target. Note that it doesn't say that the plan will not achieve its aim; it only reduces the probability that it will achieve its aim.

(B) Because the unemployment rate has declined to very low levels, Jerrod’s now has to pay significantly higher wages in order to retain its staff.

Why its costs are high is out of scope.

(C) A number of department stores that did not make shopping carts available to their customers have had to close recently due to falling profits.

If anything, it makes a case in favour of shopping carts.

(D) Shopping carts are not very expensive, but they generally need to be replaced every few years.

The costs associated with shopping carts are out of scope. Our argument talks about boosting sales. What happens to costs/profits is irrelevant.

(E) Stores that make shopping carts available to their customers usually have to hire people to retrieve the carts from parking areas.

Again, the costs associated with shopping carts are out of scope. Our argument talks about boosting sales. What happens to costs/profits is irrelevant.

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Re: Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
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I will solve this for those , who may require

Cause (shopping carts)----> Effect (rise in sales)
So , we need to find out something that will tell us that with shopping cart usage , sales are not gong to rise.
A. Does so by saying that shopping carts will harm Jerrod's image and sales may not rise.
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Re: Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
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A : weakens the conclusion
B: wages are not relevant as goal is to increase sale
D: not relevant
E : does not weaken the conclusion,as goal is to increase the sales.
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Re: Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
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can any moderator chetan2u, mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, ziyuen, carcass answer if this is a legit question one can find on the GMAT? i'm having a hard time correlating the "high quality image" with a boost in sales
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Re: Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
LakerFan24
can any moderator chetan2u, mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, ziyuen, carcass answer if this is a legit question one can find on the GMAT? I'm having a hard time correlating the "high quality image" with a boost in sales

LakerFan24 You may purchase the GMAT® Paper Tests (These are paper-based tests formatted in the way the GMAT exam was originally delivered. This product is not computer-adaptive and answer explanations are not included.) from MBA store. Unfortunately I do not have the access and did not purchase for it.

https://www.mba.com/global/store/store-catalog/gmat-preparation/gmat-paper-tests.aspx

You might purchase GMATPrep® Exam Pack 1 if you are running out of questions to practise.

https://www.mba.com/global/store/store-catalog/gmat-preparation/gmatprep-question-pack-1.aspx
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Re: Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
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LakerFan24
can any moderator chetan2u, mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, ziyuen, carcass answer if this is a legit question one can find on the GMAT? i'm having a hard time correlating the "high quality image" with a boost in sales
Dear LakerFan24,

I'm happy to respond.

My friend, this is something very important appreciate about the old GMAT paper tests--they contain official GMAT material, material that, by psychometric standards, is just as valid as the material on today's tests. See:
GMAT Paper Tests for Practice

It's also very important to appreciate another subtlety. It's true that specialized knowledge of the topic is not necessary--here, we can't have specialized knowledge of the department stores of Montalia, because Montalia is a fictional place! Nevertheless, students hear this and mistakenly believe that all outside knowledge is irrelevant. That is 100% false. See:
GMAT Critical Reasoning and Outside Knowledge
In order to do well on the GMAT CR, it's vitally important to have a "street sense" about economics---what makes some stores successful and others not? What makes some managers effectives and others not? What makes some employees productive and others not? One has to have an excellent real-world sense of the business world. If you don't have this, you need to read the business news daily until you develop it.

Some stores in the real world, such as Dollar Stores, are concerned with selling cheap merchandise at cheap prices---decor is typically not a concern, so sometimes some such stores are labeled as "low-quality." That image apparently doesn't trouble that store's customer base, but may keep away customers more concerned with environment. These stores are nothing more than places to buy stuff for low prices, purely utlitarian: no one would have any other reason to go there.

Other stores in the real world, luxury stores, sell high quality items at very high prices. Typical, the indoor & outdoor presentation of such stores is impeccable--clean, tasteful, refined. The clients who shop at these stores expect this high image as part of their shopping experience. People concerned with bargains would avoid such stores because everything's expensive. These stores are not merely places to get goods: shopping is a form of entertainment for the upper class. A group of wealthy friends may spend an entire afternoon circulating in such an environment, sometimes buying, sometimes eating or sipping latte and talking, etc. Luxury stores have a vested interest in creating an appealing experience for wealthy people, an experience these wealthy people will habitually repeat. For some wealthy people, such shopping trips are their primary form of entertainment and primary social outlet.

All that is real world knowledge one should have, either from one's own experience as a shopper or from one's study of the business world.

Choice (A) says, "Since most customers associate shopping carts with low-quality discount stores, Jerrod’s high quality image would likely suffer if shopping carts were introduced."
It's unclear whether this association between shopping carts and low quality is borne out in real life, but for the sake of this argument we will assume this is true. Jerrod's, like any high quality luxury store, depends on creating a complete experience for the shopper. If some shoppers store to get the feeling that the shopping carts detract from the high-quality environment, perhaps they will no longer want to spend leisure time there on a habitual basis, and they will take their considerable wealth with them when they depart. Of course, the bargain-hunters who don't care about image still wouldn't come to Jerrod's, because everything is still too expensive. Thus, compromising the high quality image will result in a loss of income.

You don't necessarily need to know this fact, but as a kind of corroboration of this view, I will point out that the name of this fictional store, Jarrod's, is obviously a play on the name of Harrods, a famous 5-acre luxury store in London. If you are ever in London, spend an afternoon walking around inside Harrods, and you will see much of what I describe above.

The business executive who looks at his company as if it's in a vacuum will fail. Much in the same way, the student who views GMAT CR questions as if they are in a vacuum will perpetually struggle. In the modern electronic business world, everything's connected, and one loses out for neglecting that connection.

Does all this make sense?
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Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
In this particular question, I was correctly able to identify the gap between the evidence (strong growth sales in large dept stores that provided shopping carts) and the conclusion (for premier stores). However, I took close to 2 mins to answer this question. I have the habit of taking notes (mainly the evidence and conclusion) while solving a CR question but that leads to an additional 15s per question.

Is it advisable to take notes for CR qs? I do find this method useful since I am able to focus on just the core but I am worried that following this method will take up too much of my time.
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Re: Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
Can anyone pls explain why cant it be option E. If people are hired, they would have to be given salaries. Wont this ultimately reduce the profits?
Thank you
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Re: Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
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Wont this ultimately reduce the profits?

Perhaps—but this argument isn't concerned with profits. It's only concerned with sales (= revenues), so the store's expenses are irrelevant.
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Re: Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
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Re: Many large department stores in Montalia now provide shopping carts [#permalink]
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