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The following appeared as part of an article in the business section of a local
“The Cumquat Cafe made a mistake in moving to a new location. After one year at
the new spot, it is doing about the same volume of business as before, but the
owners of the RoboWrench plumbing supply wholesale outlet that took over its old
location are apparently doing better: RoboWrench is planning to open a store in a
Page numbers AWA
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.
TAccording to this newspaper article, the Cumquat Cafe made a mistake by relocating one year ago. The author supports this claim by
pointing out that Cumquat is doing about the same volume of business as before it moved, while RoboWrench plumbing supply outlet,
which took over Cumquat’s old location, is apparently “doing better” because its owners plan to open a new outlet in a nearby city. This
argument suffers from several critical flaws.
To begin with, the two businesses are too dissimilar for meaningful comparison. Cumquat’s old location may simply have been better
suited to hardware, plumbing, and home improvement businesses than to cafes and restaurants. The article’s claim that Cumquat made
a mistake in moving fails to take this possibility into account.
Secondly, the article’s claim that RoboWrench is “doing better” since it took over Cumquat’s old location is too vague to be meaningful.
The author fails to provide a second term of this comparison. We are not informed whether RoboWrench is doing better than before it
moved, better than other plumbing stores, or better than Cumquat. This uninformative comparison is worthless as evidence from which
to judge the wisdom of Cumquat’s decision to relocate.
Thirdly, the claim that RoboWrench is doing better is unwarranted by the evidence. The mere fact that RoboWrench plans to open a
new store in a nearby city does not by itself establish that business is good. It is possible that the purpose of this plan is to
compensate for lackluster business at the current location. Or perhaps the RoboWrench owners are simply exercising poor business
Finally, the claim that Cumquat made a mistake in moving may be too hasty, since the conclusion is based on only one year’s business at
the new location. Moreover, given the time it ordinarily takes for a business to develop a new customer base in a new location, the fact
that Cumquat’s volume of business is about the same as before it moved tends to show that the move was a good decision, not a
In conclusion, the claim that Cumquat’s move was a mistake is ill-founded, since it is based on both poor and incomplete comparisons as
well as on a premature conclusion. To better assess the argument, we need to know what the author is comparing RoboWrench’s
performance to; we also need more information about the extent of RoboWrench’s success at this location and why its owners are
opening a new store.