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Author Message
Manager
Joined: 22 Apr 2013
Posts: 89
Location: India
Concentration: Finance
GMAT 1: 660 Q48 V33

### Show Tags

23 Oct 2013, 18:21
Hi Folks,

It would be great if you could grade and provide some feedback on my AWA.

Much Appreciated!!

The following appeared in a memorandum written by the assistant manager of a store that sells gourmet food items from various countries:

“A local wine store made an interesting discovery last month: it sold more French than Italian wine on days when it played recordings of French accordion music, but it sold more Italian than French wine on days when Italian songs were played. Therefore, I recommend that we put food specialties from one particular country on sale for a week at a time and play only music from that country while the sale is going on. By this means we will increase our profits in the same way that the wine store did, and we will be able to predict more precisely what items we should stock at any given time.”

In this argument, the author claims that the gourmet food store will be able to increase profits by following the same pattern of playing music as the wine stores did. This claim is based on the fact that a wine store sold more French than Italian wine on days when French music was played and more Italian than French wine on days Italian music was played. However on a deeper analysis, it is evident that there are several factors that have not been taken into account, leading to a number of mistaken assumptions and logical flaws.

One such flaw is that the author mistakenly assumes that the trend of the sales of wine will be followed the same way in gourmet food items. This argument is a stretch, as the author is comparing two different kind of products that cater to a different set of consumers. The customers at a wine store perhaps prefer music that related to the kind of wine they are buying. But if the customers of the gourmet store prefer no music at all while they select food specialties, and the store plays music, the sales of the gourmet store will decrease. For example, if a gourmet store is selling Chinese food for a week but the customers prefer Indian music at all times while they buy the food specialties, then the corresponding trend of music of the wine stores will not be applicable to the food store. In order to strengthen the argument, the author should analyze the customer preferences of the gourmet store and attract the customers based on the prospective customers preferences. If the author knows what the customers prefer while buying food specialties, the author can formulate a strategy to increase sales.

Another statement, significantly weakening the argument is that the author assumes that an increase in sales will lead to an increase in profits. The author does not take into account factors such as cost of raw materials, salaries to the employees, rent, advertising fees that affect the profits apart from the sales of the product. For example, if the sales of the food specialties from one country increase from 100 boxes priced at \$1 per box to 150 boxes at the same price. But during this time, the rent increased from \$50 to \$140. The profit of the gourmet store would decrease from \$50 to \$10 even though the sales of the food specialties have increased. To make this argument more valid, the author should analyze all such factors that affect the profits of the store. After the analysis, the author can figure out what factors affect the profit the most compared to other factors.

The author also wrongly assumes that the increase in the sales of different wines is because of the corresponding music played in the background and not a coincidental occurrence that is mistaken as a trend. The author assumes the music to be the most important factor in the sales whereas perhaps this was just a coincident. This argument is an opinion of the author and does not prove anything unless there is sufficient data to show the causal relationship between music and sales. For example, the music was played during the cultural week of different nationalities. At the French cultural week, consumers will buy more products of France based on the fact that at the time there is a wide variety of French wines available. The same trend can then be followed with the Italian cultural week. So this would show that the cultural week is the guiding factor of the sales and music is just one of the elements of the cultural week. To make this argument more valid the author should provide sufficient data that the relationship holds true indeed in case of food specialties and not just wine products.

After close examination of the argument, it is evident that the author's attempt to show that the sales of the food specialties products will increase because the store would follow the same trend as the wine stores have. In order to assess the argument, it is essential to have sufficient information of all the factors that would lead to an increase in the sales of food specialties. Without this information the arguments remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.
Manager
Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 73
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
GMAT 1: 680 Q46 V36
GPA: 3.95
WE: Research (Telecommunications)

### Show Tags

23 Oct 2013, 21:36
1
akashb106 wrote:
Hi Folks,

It would be great if you could grade and provide some feedback on my AWA.

Much Appreciated!!

The following appeared in a memorandum written by the assistant manager of a store that sells gourmet food items from various countries:

“A local wine store made an interesting discovery last month: it sold more French than Italian wine on days when it played recordings of French accordion music, but it sold more Italian than French wine on days when Italian songs were played. Therefore, I recommend that we put food specialties from one particular country on sale for a week at a time and play only music from that country while the sale is going on. By this means we will increase our profits in the same way that the wine store did, and we will be able to predict more precisely what items we should stock at any given time.”

In this argument, the author claims that the gourmet food store will be able to increase profits by following the same pattern of playing music as the wine stores did. This claim is based on the fact that a wine store sold more French than Italian wine on days when French music was played and more Italian than French wine on days Italian music was played. However on a deeper analysis, it is evident that there are several factors that have not been taken into account, leading to a number of mistaken assumptions and logical flaws.

One such flaw is that the author mistakenly assumes that the trend of the sales of wine will be followed the same way in gourmet food items. This argument is a stretch, as the author is comparing two different kind of products that cater to a different set of consumers. The customers at a wine store perhaps prefer music that related to the kind of wine they are buying. But if the customers of the gourmet store prefer no music at all while they select food specialties, and the store plays music, the sales of the gourmet store will decrease. For example, if a gourmet store is selling Chinese food for a week but the customers prefer Indian music at all times while they buy the food specialties, then the corresponding trend of music of the wine stores will not be applicable to the food store. In order to strengthen the argument, the author should analyze the customer preferences of the gourmet store and attract the customers based on the prospective customers preferences. If the author knows what the customers prefer while buying food specialties, the author can formulate a strategy to increase sales.

Another statement, significantly weakening the argument is that the author assumes that an increase in sales will lead to an increase in profits. The author does not take into account factors such as cost of raw materials, salaries to the employees, rent, advertising fees that affect the profits apart from the sales of the product. For example, if the sales of the food specialties from one country increase from 100 boxes priced at \$1 per box to 150 boxes at the same price. But during this time, the rent increased from \$50 to \$140. The profit of the gourmet store would decrease from \$50 to \$10 even though the sales of the food specialties have increased. To make this argument more valid, the author should analyze all such factors that affect the profits of the store. After the analysis, the author can figure out what factors affect the profit the most compared to other factors.

The author also wrongly assumes that the increase in the sales of different wines is because of the corresponding music played in the background and not a coincidental occurrence that is mistaken as a trend. The author assumes the music to be the most important factor in the sales whereas perhaps this was just a coincident. This argument is an opinion of the author and does not prove anything unless there is sufficient data to show the causal relationship between music and sales. For example, the music was played during the cultural week of different nationalities. At the French cultural week, consumers will buy more products of France based on the fact that at the time there is a wide variety of French wines available. The same trend can then be followed with the Italian cultural week. So this would show that the cultural week is the guiding factor of the sales and music is just one of the elements of the cultural week. To make this argument more valid the author should provide sufficient data that the relationship holds true indeed in case of food specialties and not just wine products.

After close examination of the argument, it is evident that the author's attempt to show that the sales of the food specialties products will increase because the store would follow the same trend as the wine stores have. In order to assess the argument, it is essential to have sufficient information of all the factors that would lead to an increase in the sales of food specialties. Without this information the arguments remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.

Hi,

I would rate it to 5. A few tips :
1. Make your sentences shorter, else there is a danger of making them run-on
2. Take care of puncutation marks.
3. Always write in 3rd person.

Good luck

Please press kudos if my post helped you..
_________________

Please press KUDOS if my post helped !!

Intern
Joined: 12 Nov 2017
Posts: 3

### Show Tags

23 Nov 2017, 04:14
The assistant manager states that since the local wine store was able to increase sale of French and Italian wines when it played the French and Italian songs on certain days, the manager should also put on weekly sale of gourmet food from one country and pair it with the music from that country to increase the sales. He also goes on to say that this method would help in predicting the stock as well. Here the manager's decision is flawed and is based on lot of assumptions on his part.

First, the mention that the French wine sale increased on days when French music was played, doesn't take into account the overall sale of the store. If the overall sale of the store was not impacted, then we can't be sure of the overall profit. The assistant manager should also check for the revenue impact due to this. If the sale of other items, which gave better margins for the wine store, was reduced then it seriously creates doubt on the plan of the assistant manager.

Second, there has been a great confusion between correlation and causation which the assistant manager seems to miss. There might be some advertisement for the sale, via newspapers, radio or internet, which might be impacting the sale of French and Italian wines. The music being played might not have any impact on the increased sale of respective wines, we never know. Until this information is provided we can't be sure if the plan will actually work.

To proceed with the plan for weekly specialised gourmet food of one country at a time along with the country's music, we should know the exact increase in revenue on these days compared with normal days. If such information is provided then, we can conclusively say that the plan will work.
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