In the third week of this years Apprentice the task was to create and then sell home fragrance products. Lord Sugar mixed up the teams for this one moving Steven, Daniel and Felipe to Tenacity and Lindsay, Roisin, Nurun and Bianca to Summit.
Katie put herself up for the role of pm for Tenacity as she actually buys this sort of stuff and knows what she is talking about, which noone else seemed to disagree with and Roisin put herself up for Summit on the basis that this was a profit driven task, and she was an accountant, and would be bang on with the figures.
With the pms chosen both teams went off to design their products. Katie decided that her team’s best tactic was to make the product the cheapest way possible and then sell it for the highest margin that they could get away with, wheras Rosin weanted an expensive looking brand that they would be able to sell at inflated prices.
Lauren as subteam leader for Tenacity conducted market research where they were advice to use plain colours and also to use soy to make the candles rather than parrafin but Katie decided that they were going to make a brightly coloured candle out of parrafin as it was so much cheaper than soy, which didn’t please Lauren and the subteam who rightly felt that they might as well have not bothered with the market research in the first place. Their produce was christened British Breeze,
Summitt come up with name of Beach Dreams for their fragance, as everyone loves the beach. Roisin decides that they can sell the stuff fairly cheaply, wheras Katie wants her team to charge top whack for their product.
The next part of the task was to make the actual products and also design the packaging. The teams each sent one team to each of the these taks. Summit sent Nurun, Lindsay and Sanjay to make the fragances and it ended up with Sanjay doing most of the work with the two women not doing a great deal between them with Lindsay saying that she was happy for Sanjay to do all of the work.
James is chosen as Summit’s sub team leader for the selling portion of the task, but Rosin does not give him clear guidelines as to what they should be selling the stuff for prefering to allow him to use his own initiative.
Whilst Tenancity stuggle to sell their wares James and his team (in particular Solomon and not so much Nurun or Lindsay)are able to offload their stuff dead quickly as they were pretty much selling them for whatever they could get for them perhaps forgetting that this was not really a selling task but a profit task and that it wouldn’t matter if they sold them all for a couple of quid each if the other teams sold less at a higher price.
Tenacity’s other team did quite fell selling nearly a grand’s worth to a Mayfair nightclub where Summit sold the majority of their stock to a gift shop at a ridiculously low price therefore losing a sale to a posh hotel in Belgravia which they would have got a lot more money for.
Summit actually managed to get rid of all their stock, much to their delight, whereas Tenacity had plenty of stock left at the end of the day.
Summit managed to come away with sales of £2,177 with a total profit of £1,569.32 and Tenacity finished with sales of £2,217.35 with a profit of £1,584.09 meaning that Tenacity won but by less than £15.
Rosin was thrown on the coals by Lord Sugar for not keeping to the margins which was the whole point of this task but Rosin was not ready to blame herself and was more keen to lay the blame at the feet of James who did seem to be a bit keen to sell at whatever price he could get away with, which she was also doing herself towards the end of the task.
Lindsay pretty much threw herself on her own sword when questioned by Lord Sugar admitting that she was in over her head and probably shouldn’t be there at all. Lord Sugar agreed, but in a nice way and she was fired.
Rosin then took James and Nurun into the boardroom with her knowing that it was likely that at least one of them would be fired even after Lindsay was sent packing. It was Nurun who got the boot this time mostly for not doing enough in this task, and also for poor selling in this task, despite her being a market trader by profession, and having been the previous weeks winning project manager.
James got a bit lucky and perhaps Lord Sugar does seem something of himself in James bluster and over confidence but his card is definitely marked.