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TCS NQT Previous Year Solve | Slot 1 (II) |

Verbal Ability

Q1s to 2: Read the Passage given below and answer questions

It used to be the American shopper that exemplified the state of the world economy. The focus now should be on the person on the other side of the till. America’s retail industry is huge: it employs 15.9 Mn workers, who represent one in nine American jobs. It is also undergoing wrenching change, as e-commerce eats into sales. There is no more pressing test of society’s ability to cope with technology’s impact on work. That impact is already visible. For all the benefits that online retailing brings to consumers, it is causing immense pain to offline rivals. Last year 4,000 American stores closed; this year more than twice that number may shutter. Standard & Poor’s, a rating agency, expects retail defaults this year to outnumber those in 2009, at the height of the global recession. Some formats— discount stores, groceries, high-end malls—will continue to thrive. But many will shrink. The industry has shed 50,000 net jobs since January. Department stores may need to close more than 800 stores to reach the productivity levels of 2006. Many outlets are looking for ways to cut labour costs by embracing automation.

Qs 6 to 10: Read the passage given below and answer questions

Twinkling lights are just visible behind screens where staff are putting the finishing touches to this year’s Christmas displays, but in other parts of the shop, the lights are still off. John Lewis’s flagship store in Oxford Street, central London, is bearing the scars of the pandemic. A restaurant and cafe are closed and there are more staff than customers on the furnishings floor. The fashion floor is also a depressing sight, with tags flagging big discounts on racks of unwanted dresses and office wear. Last week it emerged John Lewis had applied for planning permission to convert entire floors of this shop into office space. It’s not hard to see why. John Lewis, with its employee ownership and reputation for stellar customer service, still holds a special place in shoppers’ hearts. But while sister chain Waitrose, along with other supermarkets, has thrived in the pandemic, results published last week show the department store chain is in deep trouble.Huge changes in shopper behaviour, which have been accelerated by coronavirus, mean the John Lewis website is now responsible for 60% of the chain’s sales – up from 30% pre-Covid. This tilt towards the web means the department stores, as properties, are now deemed to be worth nearly £500 Mn less than before – a reassessment in last week’s results that sent the group crashing £635 Mn into the red in the first half of its financial year.

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