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## Please rate my first argument analysis

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tini Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
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#### Please rate my first argument analysis

Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:14 am
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.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The author concludes that retail sales in department stores will increase as the number of middle aged people will increase in the next decade. Further, the author suggests that department stores should replace some products intended for younger consumers with products for middle-aged consumers to entice middle aged consumers and boost sales. The only data provided to corroborate the author's assumption is a relatively higher percentage of expenditure of middle aged consumers than that of the younger consumers in the department stores. The author's reasoning is questionable for the following causes.

First of all, no data has been provided about the products purchased by the consumers belonging to these age groups. Variations in expenditure might not indicate whether the products purchased by the middle aged consumers are solely used by them. The middle aged consumers might also purchase certain products meant for younger consumers for their family members. So the reasoning provided to replace products for younger consumers is seriously flawed. In contrast, taking such actions actually might impact the sales of department stores adversely.

Secondly, the stated argument doesn't specify the actual age distribution of the consumer base of department stores. Also, there is no guarantee that people won't relocate in the next ten years. This might lead to change in age distribution in a specific area resulting in concentration of younger aged consumers in a certain area. In this scenario the author's argument is invalid.

Finally, the author hasn't provided sufficient evidence of whether the economic scenario in the next decade will remain unchanged. The economy might be hit by inflation and thus resulting in lower spending power of the people. Increase in number of middle aged consumers alone doesn't ensure increase in retail sales of department stores in the next decade. Moreover, there might be change in trend and people might prefer shopping over internet and thus resulting in dip of retail sales of department stores.

To sum up, the author's argument is not convincing enough. The author should provide solid facts to substantiate his arguments.

parore26 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
25 Apr 2007
Posted:
147 messages
Followed by:
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19
Test Date:
Jan-2-2008
Target GMAT Score:
750
Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:48 am
I'd put this at a 5 (with some effort could be a 6). A very solid first attempt. One thing that you would want to improve on is length and maybe add one more attack. But, as you practice you'll become more proficient at this.

I'd also suggest that you provide a bit more meat to the conclusion. It is always a great idea to re-state at a high-level your argument. For your essay you should state something like: "To sum up To sum up, the author's argument that pandering to middle-aged consumers will boost retail sales is not convincing enough. The author should provide solid facts about the different products and the purchasing behaviour of each sub-groups to substantiate his arguments." This is just an example, but you'll need to state specific introduction and a specific conclusion.

Finally, repeat key words from the question. So you might want to say things like "I don't find the argument [b]well-reasoned[/b] at all."

andes1 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
25 Nov 2007
Posted:
48 messages
1
Target GMAT Score:
701
Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:51 pm
very good 4.5

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