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Intern
Joined: 29 Mar 2013
Posts: 28

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 8

Schools: ISB '16

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27 Aug 2013, 00:52
. The following appeared in the opinion column of a financial magazine.
“On average, middle-aged consumers devote 39 percent of their retail expenditure to department store products and services, while for younger consumers the average is only 25 percent. Since the number of middle-aged people will increase dramatically within the next decade, department stores can expect retail sales to increase significantly during that period. Furthermore, to take advantage of the trend, these stores should begin to replace some of those products intended to attract the younger consumer with products intended to attract the middle-aged consumer.”
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.

At face value this argument seems fair and logical. The claim forwarded that stores should begin to replace some of the products for middle-aged consumer, since department stores are expecting significant increase for the next decade seems convincing. However on closer analysis the argument shows some fallacies, which make this argument rather weak, unconvincing, and has flaws.

At first, argument assumes that middle-aged consumers generally devote 39 percent of their retail expenditure to department store products and services, while for young consumers it is just 25 percent. This statement is unconvincing as argument did not provide any information about whether the middle-aged consumers really use these products; on the contrary it is possible that they are buying these products for their young ones. Furthermore it is possible that young consumers are purchasing these products online through various online stores. Clearly, the argument would have been more convincing if it explicitly sites more information about usage and way of purchasing.

Moreover, this argument claims that since the number of middle-aged people will increase by next decade, department stores can expect significant increase in sales. As above this statement is also unconvincing as younger age consumers, which are spending 25 percent of their retail expenditure on department store products, admittedly they are the ones who will turn into middle-aged consumers after couple of years. Undoubtedly, if young consumers are not giving preference to department store products and services, there are chances that they will not give any preference to them even when they reach at their middle age. Consequently this statement contains some fallacies.

In addition to it, argument forwarded the claim that stores should take advantage of this trend by replacing some of the products intended to attract younger consumer with products intended to attract the middle-aged consumers. Just as, the information is a stretch which is not substantiating any conclusion that shifting foucus from young age to middle-age consumers will really be beneficial, because this argument did not stated any information about the types of product that consumers are purchasing. In fact, advertising agencies hardly publicize their products focusing middle-age consumers; rather they focus more on young-age consumers. And there might be some possibility that middle-age consumers use these products so as to hide their age.

In conclusion, argument is flawed and unconvincing for the above mentioned reasons.
This argument would have been more convincing if argument mentioned some facts about type of product that consumers are using, and also if it was mentioned that consumers are purchasing these products for their own, not for young ones.

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 8

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