The latest task is in the £14billion beauty treatments industry.
The candidates get to see a range of treatments and then choose two they would like to provide to the poor old unsuspecting paying punter. Lord Sugar hastily points out that they will receive professional training – hears hoping they take it all in!
The first thing to do is to choose the location where the teams will sell products and deliver treatments. Interestingly Venture, with their PM Felicity Jackson, chooses the Bull Ring with their one and only treatment room a long way from the main selling area – a massive mistake, surely? Meanwhile Logic (PM Zoe Beresford) chooses the better location at an out of town shopping centre with a great number of shops and most importantly a treatment centre with more than one room and literally next door to the sales area.
The next thing the candidates do is to sit through presentations on 8 treatments they can offer to the unwary shopper. These are as follows:
- Chocolate facials, and yes it’s real chocolate
- weight reduction programme, which involves wrapping the poor client so they look like an Egyptian mummy
- Winges, these are awful looking false hair fringes
- A heated curler treatment
- Men’s cosmetics
- Lava shells, self-heating “massage tool”
- Revitalising cold stone massage for the feet
- …and of course the spray tan
Unfortunately Zoe sets Suzy up to fail by asking her to comment on her own experience in her skin care company. And Suzy is off and telling everyone that she has set-up and run her own company so she is uniquely placed to help them win the task. We’ll see then won’t we?
Like bulls into the Bullring
Venture piles into the Bullring and project manager Felicity is thrilled by the fact that they’re in a main thoroughfare with lots of footfall and plenty of swanky shops around.However, as Nick Hewer points out the treatments (up on the third floor) make a massive margin but the sales team on the ground floor aren’t even mentioning them.
The sales team are happy to bullshit clients about how lovely they look with the weird fringe wigs but seem reluctant to mention the treatments. Felicity should have made it a competition to see who could get the most treatment sales. Then we’d have seen a bit of profitable action. When Ellie (in the treatment room) rings to flag up lack of customers Felicity pulls Tom away from the treatments! And also notes that they’ve told lots of people to go to the third floor for treatments. Come on, people are going to forget as they go past all the shops on the way. Or maybe aren’t persuaded of the treatment in the first place?
Meanwhile when Tom (or Mr Notebook-calculator as Nick has christened him) immediately forgets to sell treatments and starts to sell products. Because obviously intangibles are more difficult to sell.
When Ellie and Melody trot downstairs to point out that no treatments have occurred Felicity wonders why! She then attempts to point the finger of blame at Ellie by saying she doesn’t think she’s a good salesperson. Baffling beyond belief. How can somebody sell or do any treatments if no customer actually arrives where they’re sent?
Then Melody at last starts getting customers to the treatment room. However, stupidly she gives them 3 minutes free to try the massage out. So how many customers then want to pay for it…
Westfield is the place for scapegoats
Leon’s concerns with the unmanly aspect of beauty treatments seem to have disappeared and although he can’t match Suzy’s predicted sales of 6 per hour he is making 3 sales per hour of the products. And he appears to be using some sort of Vulcan mind trick with prospects little fingers to draw them over to his sales area!
And Suzy appears to be selling no products at all. Well down on her confident predictions of the previous night. And of course Zoe uses Suzy’s lack of sales to emphasise the weak point – ready for if they fail the task. A lovely bit of scapegoating, well done Zoe!
Logic has obviously understood the importance of selling treatments in this task and sell quite a number, although Zoe who does the foot massages does seem to take too much time over them.
Back to the beast in the boardroom
Lord Sugar (aka the beast) got down to the figures fairly quickly…
Venture spent £734 and sold £937 which was a profit of £203.
Logic spent £924 and made £677 which created a loss of £246.28.
And of course Zoe was dismissive about Suzy, although luckily for Suzy the team she was in (Venture) won.
Logic loses yet again
So, Logic return to the boardroom, ready to explain, or find excuses as to why they lost.
And in reality the main reason they lost was down to doing so few treatments. Because even when Tom went down to start selling treatments but got sucked into selling the products.
As Tom pointed out the treatments weren’t happening because the treatment rooms were so far from the sales area.
The two people who Felicity selects to go back into the boardroom with her are Natasha, who really doesn’t seem to be making much impact, and Ellie.
Then when the trio get back Felicity is blasted from both sides. By Ellie saying that the sales team were sending freebie seeking students and therefore no money and from Natasha saying that there was no selling strategy.
And the sheer weight of Felicity’s errors means she is fired.
Was the right Apprentice fired?
There was no doubt that Felicity was the right person to be fired. Although to be honest I’m surprised she didn’t bring Tom back in with her as Tom should have told her exactly what was happening with treatment room sales. However, Felicity’s cardinal errors were as follows:
- Not listening to Tom when he suggested the treatment room so far from the sales area was wrong
- Not putting enough emphasis on getting people to have treatments
- Allowing free 3 minute massage with the possibility of further time if the client liked it!
- Assuming that Ellie wasn’t converting the clients the sales area sent up to the treatment room