GRE Argument Essay 168

The following appeared in a memo to managers of Christine’s, a chain of craft stores.

“Several major newspapers have recently run articles noting an increased interest in pottery. The number of potters in this country has risen by eighteen percent in the past five years, and pottery is particularly gaining popularity on college campuses. In order to take advantage of these trends, Christine’s should immediately begin carrying a larger volume of pottery supplies. Since several of our stores have recently experienced a decrease in sales of painting supplies, all store managers should reallocate shelf space from the painting area for the display of pottery. Stores should display posters showing pottery that is designed to appeal to college-age individuals. These actions will undoubtedly increase our profits dramatically.”

The given memo recommends that all the stores of Christine’s should start stocking pottery items and they should display posters aimed at attracting college-age people to buy the pottery items. The arguer asserts that the store managers should ensure that the shelf space in the stores is reallocated to accommodate pottery items. The arguer concludes that these actions would ensure an increase in profits for Christine’s chain of craft stores. The argument is supported by articles in several newspapers that have highlighted an increased interest in pottery. Moreover, the number of potters in the country has risen by eighteen percent in the past five years and pottery is fast becoming popular among college going people. However, in several respects the evidence provided by the arguer lends little credible support to the argument.

Firstly, the newspapers may have reported an increase in the interest shown in pottery, but the arguer does not provide the details of the sale of pottery items that has taken place as a result of this interest. It is likely that this interest in pottery is in the form of a hobby and this could explain the increase in the number of potters. However, people may not be interested in buying pottery. Moreover, there is no mention of the areas which have reported an increase in interest in pottery. These might be some rural areas where the people are looking at pottery as a means of livelihood or this interest may be limited to people who have a keen interest in art. It is not necessary that the stores of Christine’s would be located in the same vicinity. Unless the arguer provides evidence that explicitly establishes an interest in pottery in the region where the stores are located, it is hard to be convinced that stocking volumes of pottery by removing paintings would be a profitable venture in all the stores of Christine’s.

Secondly, an increase in the number of potters does not indicate an increased demand for pottery. The potters might have taken up this hobby from a business point of view. On the contrary, it might indicate an increased stock of pottery available in the market which could eventually lead to a fall in prices of pottery items. Moreover, an increase by eighteen percent in five years is not a very significant increase and it does not imply that there has been a sudden surge in the interest for pottery. Therefore, this fact related to the increase in the number of potters does little to substantiate the recommendation made by the arguer.

Thirdly, the college students being referred to by the arguer may be the ones who are pursuing studies in arts related subjects and therefore, they have an inherent interest in pottery. There is no mention of any statistical data related to the college going people which could prove that a majority of the students are showing an interest in buying pottery items. Moreover, as the financial status of college students is not very high, it is unlikely that the attractive posters would be able to coerce the students into buying the pottery items as they will probably not be having spare money to shop for the same.

Lastly, a decline in the sales of paintings in the recent past does not mean that paintings can be replaced by pottery in the shelves. This could be unfavorable for the business of Christine’s as there might be an escalation in the demand for paintings in the future and the stores will not be able to profit from the increased demand as they would not be having any stock of paintings. Moreover, it is likely that Christine’s is not stocking paintings of renowned and popular painters and hence, the stores are seeing a decline in the sales of paintings. The reader needs to be told about the status of the sales of paintings in the market in order to be convinced that the paintings need to be replaced by pottery for an increase in profits. In conclusion, the recommendation of the arguer is neither well reasoned and nor is it well supported as the evidence provided by the arguer does little to substantiate the given argument.