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For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported : Reading Comprehension

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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported [#permalink]
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Zachary Inc revenues have increased by 50 % in past 2 years whereas most other brands have had depressed sales during the same period .
ZAC , which is the parent of Zachary Inc . , has reported a slight decline in overall sales in past 2 years
Paradox – the other subsidiaries of ZAC did not do as well .

A)The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years. Does not explain
B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half. Advertising campaign might decrease profits but won't impact the revenues
C) Z.A.C. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to a variety of manufacturers of men's clothing. Correct - Z.A.C is a supplier of fabrics to other clothing brands . We know that most of the clothing brands have had depressed sales during last 2 years . Because of slowdown in demand , these brands purchased lesser amount fabric from ZAC . Hence , the total revenue of ZAC declined .
D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing. Does not explain the paradox as we already know that Zachary Inc sales have increased YoY for last 2 years . This might make more sense if it talked about the parent company .
E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy. Incorrect - Does not address the paradox as we are only concerned about total sales/revenues.
Answer C
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported [#permalink]
Carcass wrote:
Zachary Inc revenues have increased by 50 % in past 2 years whereas most other brands have had depressed sales during the same period .
ZAC , which is the parent of Zachary Inc . , has reported a slight decline in overall sales in past 2 years
Paradox – the other subsidiaries of ZAC did not do as well .

A)The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years. Does not explain
B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half. Advertising campaign might decrease profits but won't impact the revenues
C) Z.A.C. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to a variety of manufacturers of men's clothing. Correct - Z.A.C is a supplier of fabrics to other clothing brands . We know that most of the clothing brands have had depressed sales during last 2 years . Because of slowdown in demand , these brands purchased lesser amount fabric from ZAC . Hence , the total revenue of ZAC declined .
D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing. Does not explain the paradox as we already know that Zachary Inc sales have increased YoY for last 2 years . This might make more sense if it talked about the parent company .
E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy. Incorrect - Does not address the paradox as we are only concerned about total sales/revenues.
Answer C




Can you explain in detail? Didn't understand your solution

Thanks in advance.
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported [#permalink]
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Ok

The stem says that the departments that sell clothes had an increase of 50% , specifically those from Company Z

Instead other brands in the same departments had a decrease in sales

However, OVERALL company Z had a decrease in sales IN THE departments where common people go to buy clothes (families, guys, girls, so forth)

WHY we do have such discrepancy ?? it is weird apparently

(A) The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years.

this answer tells us about the clothes sold in those stores owned by Company Z itself. Do not tell us anything about the decrease or the paradox

(B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half.

What happened two years ago and the ad campaign is irrelevant to our explanation

(C) Zachary, Inc. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to other manufacturers of men's clothing.

This si good. Comany Z sell to Company X which creates clothes thanks to the fabric of Company Z. So they sell more clothes and therefore Company Z had an increase

(D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing.

leather and women clothes tell us nothing

(E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy.

The selling off, discounted, tell us nothing

Hope now is more clear
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For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported [#permalink]
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To summarize the 'surprising result' which is specifically stated in the passage: Zach has increased sales to department stores when others have not. It is easy to be confused by the rest of the passage, as it gives a lot of detail, but not necessarily regarding the surprising result.

"For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported a nearly 50% increase in their sales of men's clothing manufactured by Zachary, Inc., a result that is all the more surprising because the sales of most other brands of men's clothing have been depressed over the same period.")

What might explain this?

A) nothing about ownership in passage
B) nothing about advertising in passage
C) Ah, now it does mention sales in the passage, and it could be that the sales were to another clothing manufacturer, not the department store...keep
D) nothing about mens vs womens or leather or non-leather in the passage or 3 year timeframe
E) no mention of the economy in the passage

Answer must be C by process of elimination.
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported [#permalink]
(A) The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years. - Out of scope as it does not matter whether boutique stores are selling more or less.

(B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half. - If they underspent then would it increase the sales? Ads ~ sales. Nope. Out of scope

(C) Zachary, Inc. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to other manufacturers of men's clothing. - Meaning that most of the sales is with other manufacturing companies. Argument already states that other companies also went down. So Conclusively, Z's sales went down.

(D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing. Out of scope. Again it does not matter

(E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy. - opposite

Hence C.
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported [#permalink]
I am having problems with this question, please help me

1. option (C) does not help to explain the 50% increase in sales by in major department stores of men's clothing manufactured by Zachary INC!!
2. This also doesn't help to explain why "the sales of most other brands of men's clothing have been depressed over the same period., surprisingly" - acc. to the paragraph

since company Zachary inc is only giving fabric to other "manufacturers" one cannot assume that these other manufacturers would be selling their products under the name of zachary (why should they?)
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported [#permalink]
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GENERAL METHOD:

For Resolve the Paradox questions, we must select an answer that can explain both sides of the situation, not only one side. That's the KEY.
Before solving this question, please note that there are two types of answers ALWAYS are incorrect:
1. Explain only one side of the paradox.
2. Just explain the similarities and differences, e.g. if the stimulus contains a paradox where two items are similar, then an answer choice explains a difference between the two cannot be correct.

APPLY:

The logic here is: men clothing manufactured by Zachary increased 50%, but overall sales of Zachary slightly decreased. You see the gap? OVERALL Sales do not mean ONLY men clothing. If you see an answer that shows Zachary men clothing sales increased, but sales of Zachary's products OTHER THAN men clothing decreased. That would be the answer. Because OVERALL SALES = MEN CLOTHING + OTHER PRODUCTS. Only men clothing sales increased is not enough to conclude Overall sales increased.


CONSIDER EACH ANSWERS:

A) The sales of clothing at Zachary, Inc.'s boutique stores, which, unlike department stores, are owned and operated by the company itself, have held steady over the last two years. - WRONG - Out of scope

B) Two years ago, Zachary, Inc. began an ambitious new advertising campaign; in each of the last two years, the company's advertising department has overspent its planned budget by almost half. - WRONG - Out of scope

C) Zachary, Inc. is renowned for the quality of its fabrics, and sells large quantities of fabric to other manufacturers of men's clothing. - CORRECT - Because Zachary's fabric is famous, so many people want to buy men clothing manufactured by the company --> Men clothing sales increased. Besides men clothing, Zachary also sells fabrics to other manufactures. However, other manufactures sales decreased because of weak economy (mentioned in the stimulus), making Zachary's overall sales slightly decreased. Because they are also Zachary's customers. This is the answer!

D) Zachary, Inc. formerly manufactured leather accessories and women's clothing in addition to men's clothing, but, for the past three years, the company has produced only men's clothing. - WRONG - Out of scope.

E) In the last two years, the percentage of Zachary, Inc.'s clothing sold by department stores at discounted prices has been unusually high, a result that analysts have blamed on the sluggish economy. - WRONG - Please review my note above, the answer that explains only one side is ALWAYS incorrect. E only explains why men clothing sales of Zachary increased, but doesn't explain why Zachary's overall sales decreased. That cannot be the answer.


I hope it helps a little bit.­
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported [#permalink]
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Official Explanation


(1) Identify the Question

The language explain the apparent contradiction indicates that this is an Explain the Discrepancy question.

(2) Deconstruct the Passage

According to the passage, sales of Zachary Inc. men’s clothing at department stores are up significantly over the last two years. Nevertheless, despite that increase, overall sales numbers have shrunk over the same period. The passage also mentions that other brands of men's clothing have experienced a decline in sales as well.

(3) State the Goal

The apparent contradiction is the decrease in Zachary's overall sales despite the jump in the sales of men's clothing at department stores. Since the department-store sales of Zachary’s men’s clothing have definitely increased, the only possible explanation for this result would be a decrease in some other aspect of the company's sales.

(4) Work from Wrong to Right

(A) According to this statement, the boutique stores' sales remained constant. To help explain the unexpected drop in the overall sales, the boutique stores' sales would need to have decreased over the two-year period.

(B) The current passage is focused only on sales, not on the overall profitability of the company, so advertising expenses are irrelevant.

(C) CORRECT. The other men's clothing manufacturers did experience a decline in sales. If those companies did not buy as much fabric from Zachary's as they had in prior years, then Zachary's overall sales could have declined even as their own clothing line continued to sell well.

(D) A decline in sales for other product lines could be relevant, as long as those declines occurred within the past two years, since the passage is concerned only with Zachary's sales trends over the past two years. Changes that occurred three or more years earlier are irrelevant.

(E) Participation in two new business ventures that have not proved to be profitable as of yet does not explain Zachary's decrease in sales. The company has to have lost sales somewhere. New business ventures that aren't performing well yet are perhaps not adding many new sales, but that does not impact prior sales from existing divisions. (Further, note that this choice says only that the new ventures are not very profitable yet—a new venture could have a lot of sales even though it is not yet able to turn a profit.)
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Re: For each of the past two years, major department stores have reported [#permalink]
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