0

Category killers and niche retailers compete effectively with department stores, which typically have slower inventory turns, high operating expenses, and larger inventory losses, but are experiencing more difficulty competing with value merchants such as Giant with their relentless emphasis on efficiency, cost reduction, and disciplined inventory management.

Is the bolded prepositional phrase attached to "Giant" or
is it attached to "competing"?

2

Actually, it's attached to value merchants, and so is such as Giant. This is a little clearer if you remove such as Giant, insert a helpful comma, and read it again:

Category killers and niche retailers... are experiencing more difficulty competing with value merchants, with their relentless emphasis on efficiency, cost reduction, and disciplined inventory management.

It's not surprising you had trouble with that, though. That sentence is a monster, and could easily have been broken into two or even four smaller, more easily understood sentences.

Category killers and niche retailers compete effectively with department stores. Those typically have slower inventory turns, high operating expenses, and larger inventory losses. However, they are experiencing more difficulty competing with value merchants such as Giant. Value merchants have a relentless emphasis on efficiency, cost reduction, and disciplined inventory management.

  • Thanks for the answer. "Those" equals to department stores, is that right? And why "with...."(PP phrase) doesn't describe how they are competing? – jammy yang Apr 15 at 1:23
  • Yes, "those" refers to department stores. And the prepositional phrase describes the advantages that the more competitive "value merchants" have. The way this sentence is constructed, it's the "category killers and niche retailers" who are the agents, the ones who are "having trouble" doing the "competing". If the prepositional phrase attached to "competing", it would be describing advantages the agents, "value merchants", have, but then they wouldn't be "having trouble competing" at all. – Johnny Apr 15 at 4:09
1

This is saying that Giant has a "relentless emphasis on efficiency, cost reduction, and disciplined inventory management." It might be clearer and better if split up into two sentences.

Category killers and niche retailers compete effectively with department stores, which typically have slower inventory turns, high operating expenses, and larger inventory losses. However, they are experiencing more difficulty competing with value merchants such as Giant because of the value merchant's relentless emphasis on efficiency, cost reduction, and disciplined inventory management.

By repeating the term "value merchant", the attachment is made clear.

  • Thanks for the answer, why "with...."(PP phrase) doesn't describe how they are competing? – jammy yang Apr 15 at 1:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.