GRE Argument Essay 146
The following appeared in a memo from the president of a chain of cheese stores located throughout the United States.
“For many years all the stores in our chain have stocked a wide variety of both domestic and imported cheeses. Last year, however, the five best-selling cheeses at our newest store were all domestic cheddar cheeses from Wisconsin. Furthermore, a recent survey by Cheeses of the World magazine indicates an increasing preference for domestic cheeses among its subscribers. Since our company can reduce expenses by limiting inventory, the best way to improve profits in all of our stores is to discontinue stocking many of our varieties of imported cheese and concentrate primarily on domestic cheeses.”
In the given memo, the president of a US based chain of cheese stores recommends that they should stock domestic cheese only and discontinue stocking imported cheese. The president claims that this would lead to reduction of expenses due to the limitation on inventory. The argument is supported by the fact that the five best-selling cheeses in the past year at their newest stores were domestic cheeses. Moreover, a recent survey conducted by Cheese of the World magazine has indicated an increasing trend of consumption of domestic cheeses among its subscribers. A closer analysis of the argument reveals that it suffers from several logical fallacies.
The fact that there has been an increase in sales for domestic cheeses in the newest stores in the past year does not necessarily mean that the remaining stores across the country are experiencing similar preferences from their customers. It is likely that the new stores have been set up in rural areas where the people are used to having domestic cheese. As the sales statistics refer to the past year only, it is likely that in the coming time the sales of imported cheese will also increase once the people get used to their taste. Moreover, it is likely that the locations of the new stores are such that their customers come from humble backgrounds and they cannot afford expensive imported cheeses. Therefore, the arguer unfairly makes a hasty recommendation that all the stores of the company should discontinue stocking many of their varieties of imported cheeses.
Another flaw in the argument is the assumption that the results of the survey conducted by Cheeses of World magazine will hold true for the customers of the company’s cheese stores as well. There is no mention of the number of subscribers who are regular customers of the company. Moreover, there is no mention of the location where the survey was conducted. Was it conducted in the towns where the company has its cheese stores? The results of the survey may hold true for the people who were a part of the survey, but the arguer fails to establish a link between the subscribers who participated in the survey and the people who buy domestic cheeses from the company’s cheese stores. Therefore, the preferences of the subscribers as reflected by the results of the survey may have little to do with the sales of the imported cheeses offered at the stores of the company across the country.
Even if we assume that there is indeed an increased preference for domestic cheeses among the customers of the company, the arguer needs to provide details of the sales figures which can prove that the action of discontinuing the stocking of imported cheeses would result in profits. It is likely that the sale of imported cheeses brings in much higher profit as compared to the sale of domestic cheeses. Therefore, discontinuing the stocking of imported cheeses may ultimately lead to losses for the company especially since the arguer has failed to prove that the customers of the company prefer domestic cheeses in all the stores throughout the country.
As the argument does not consider any other alternatives for increasing the profits of the company, the recommendation made by the arguer sounds unreasonable and unconvincing. The argument could have been bolstered with information that could have linked the results of the survey to the preferences of the customers of the company. Moreover, there is a need to provide information on the sales statistics related to imported cheeses and domestic cheeses at all the stores of the company.