Topics: Milk, Low-carbohydrate diet, Logic Pages: 6 (2350 words) Published: March 27, 2013

The following appeared in a memo from the manager of Upper Cuts hair salon: “According to a nationwide demographic study, more and more people today are moving from suburbs to downtown areas. In order to boost sagging profits at UpperCuts, we should take advantage of this trend by relocating the salon from its current location in Apton’s suburban mall to downtown Aption while retaining the salon’s decidedly upscale ambiance. Besides, Hair-Dooz, our chief competitor at the mall, has just relocated downtown and is thriving at its new location, and the most prosperous hair salon in nearby Brainard is located in that city’s down town area. By emulating the locations of these two successful salons, UppperCuts is certain to attract more customers.” ANALYSIS Citing a general demographic trend and certain evidence about two other hair salons, the manager of UpperCuts (UC) concludes here that UC should relocate from suburban to downtown Apton in order to attract more customers and, in turn, improve its profitability. However, the manager’s argument relies on a series of unproven assumptions and is therefore unconvincing as it stands. To begin with, the argument assumes that Apton’s demographic trend reflects the national trend. Yet, the mere fact that one hair salon has moved downtown hardly suffices to infer any such trend in Apton; HairDooz might owe its success at its new location to factors unrelated to Apton’s demographics. Without better evidence of a demographic shift such trend in Apton. For that matter, the trend might be in the opposite direction, in which event the manager’s recommendation would amount to especially poor advice. Even if Apton’s demographics do reflect the national trend, it is unfair to assume that UC will attract more customers simply by relocating downtown. It is entirely possible that the types of people who prefer living in downtown areas tend not to patronize upscale salons. It is also possible that Hair-Dooz will continue to impede upon UC’s business, just as it might have at the mall. Without ruling out these and other reasons why UB might not benefit from the demographic trend, the manager cannot convince me that UC would attract more customers, let alone increase its profits, by moving downtown. Nor can the manager justify the recommended course of action on the basis of the Brainard salon’s success. Perhaps hair salon generally fare better in downtown Brainard than downtown Apton, due to demographic differences between the two areas. Or perhaps the salon thrives only because it is longestablished in downtown Brainard-an advantage that UC clearly would not have in its new location. In short, the manager cannot defend the recommended course of action on the basis of what might be a false analogy between two hair salons. Finally, even assuming that the proposed relocation would attract more customers, an increase in the number of patrons would not necessarily result in improved profits. After all, profit is a function of expenses as well as revenue. Thus, an increase in UC’s expenses-due perhaps to higher rents downtown than at the mall-might very well offset increasing revenues, thereby frustrating UC’s efforts to improve its profitability. 1/4

In sum, the argument is a dubious one that relies on a series of unproven assumptions – about Apton’s and Brainard’s demographics, the reasons for the success of the two other salons, and UC’s future expenses. To strengthen the argument, the manager should provide better evidence of a demographic shift in Apton toward the downtown area and clear evidence that those demographics portend success there for an upscale hair salon. Even with this additional evidence, in order to properly evaluate the argument, I would need to know why Hair-Dooz relocated, what factors have contributed to the Brainard salon’s success, what factors other than location might have contributed to UC’s...
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