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Passage Two
 Questions 51 to 55 are based on the following passage.
 
    Macy’s reported its sales plunged 5.2% in November and December at stores open more than a year, a disappointing holiday season performance that capped a difficult year for a department store chain facing wind-ranging challenges. Its flagship stores in major U.S. cities depend heavily on international tourist spending, which shrank at many retailers due to a strong dollar. Meanwhile, Macy’s has simply struggled to lure consumers who are more interested in spending on travel or dining out than on new clothes or accessories.

   The company blamed much of the poor performance in November and December on unseasonably warm weather. “About 80% of our company’s year-over-year declines in comparable sales can be attributed to shortfalls (短缺) in cold-weather goods,” said chief executive Terry Lundgren in a press release. This prompted the company to cut its forecasts for the full fourth quarter.

    However, it’s clear that Macy’s believes its troubles run deeper than a temporary aberration (偏離) off the thermometer. The retail giant said the poor financial performance this year has pushed it to begin implementing $400 million in cost-cutting measures. The company pledged to cut 600 back-office positions, though some 150 workers in those roles would be reassigned to other jobs. It also plans to offer “voluntary separation” packages to 165 senior executives. It will splash staffing at its fleet of 770 stores, a move affecting some 3,000 employees.

    The retailer also announced the locations of 36 stores it will close in early 2016. The company had previously announced the planned closures, but had not said which locations would be affected. None of the chain’s stores in the Washington metropolitan area are to be closed.

    Macy’s has been moving aggressively to try to remake itself for a new era of shopping. It has plans to open more locations of Macy’s Backstage, a newly-developed off-price concept which might help it better compete with ambitious T.J. Maxx. It’s also pushing ahead in 2016 with an expansion of Bluemercury, the beauty chain it bought last year. At a time when young beauty shoppers are often turning to Sephora or Ulta instead of department store beauty counters, Macy’s hopes Bluemercury will help strengthen its position in the category.

    One relative bright spot for Macy’s during the holiday season was the online channel, where it rang up “double-digit” increases in sales and a 25% increase in the number of orders it filled. That relative strength would be consistent with what was seen in the wider retail industry during the early part of the holiday season. While Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday all saw record spending online, in-store sales plunged over the holiday weekend. 

1.[單選題]What does Macy’s believe about its problems?
  • A.They can be solved with better management.
  • B.They cannot be attributed to weather only.
  • C. They are not as serious in its online stores.
  • D.They call for increased investments.
  • 解題思路:由題干中的Macy’s believe和its problems定位到文章第二段第一句和第三段第一句。第二段第一句指 出,該公司將11月和12月的不良表現主要歸咎于不合時宜的暖冬,但是在第三段第一句中也提到:梅西并 不是把銷售額減少僅僅歸因于天氣,并在下文介紹了它縮減開支、調整發展計劃的相關信息,可見梅西百貨 并非將銷售表現不佳僅僅歸因于天氣,故答案為B)。
2.[單選題]Why does Macy’s plan to expand Bluemercury in 2016?
  • A.To experiment on its new business concept.
  • B.To focus more on beauty products than clothing.
  • C.To promote sales of its products by lowering prices.
  • D.To be more competitive in sales of beauty products.
  • 解題思路:由題干中的專有名詞Bluemercury和in 2016定位到文章第五段第三、四句。定位句指出,梅西百貨將在 2016年大力推進擴展它去年收購的美妝用品連鎖Bluemercury,目的是希望Bluemercury能夠幫助梅西百貨 鞏固在這一品類的地位,與其他的美妝專營店競爭,故答案為D)。
3.[單選題]In order to cut costs, Macy’s decided to _______.
  • A.cut the salary of senior executives
  • B.relocate some of its chain stores
  • C.adjust its promotion strategies
  • D.reduce the size of its staff
  • 解題思路:根據題干中的cut costs定位到文章第三段第二句至最后一句。定位句指出,梅西百貨為了減少開支,減少了 600個后勤崗位,還計劃鼓勵高級管理人員主動離職,并減少多家門店的員工人數,可見其縮減開支的 主要手段是裁員,故答案為D)。
4.[單選題]What does the author say about the shrinking spending of international tourists in the U.S.?
  • A.It is attributable to the rising value of the U.S. dollar.
  • B.It is a direct result of the global economic recession.
  • C.It reflects a shift of their interest in consumer goods.
  • D.It poses a potential threat to the retail business in the U.S.
  • 解題思路:由題干中的shrinking spending of international tourists定位到文章首段第二句。第二句明確指出,梅西百貨在美國主要城市的旗艦店主要依賴國際旅游者消費,但是今年的休假季許多零售店旅游消費均出現縮水,原因就是美元過于強勁,故答案為A)。
5.[單選題]What can we learn about Macy’s during the holiday season?
  • A.Sales dropped sharply its physical stores.
  • B.Its retail sales exceeded those of T.J. Maxx.
  • C.It helped Bluemercury establish its position worldwide.
  • D.It filled its stores with abundant supply of merchandise.
  • 解題思路:由題干中的holiday season定位到文章第一段第一句和最后一段最后一句。第一個定位句指出,梅西百 貨在休假季的整體銷售業績是不理想的;第二個定位句提到,線上銷售達到了歷史最好水平,但是門店的銷 售還是直線下滑。可見實體店的銷售還是下降的,故答案為A)。
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  • 參考答案:B,D,D,A,A