The teams are asked to select two baby products and then sell them at a major baby show in Earls Court.
This is the point when I wonder why the candidates don’t check the events happening at Earls Court during the time they’re filming, before they get to the Apprentice.
And of course the team with the most money wins.
The Baby Products
The teams are sent to look at the following products:
- Baby Headguard – “Thudguard”
- Up-market Rocking Horse
- Super Fold-up Buggy – Takeoff
- High-heeled baby shoes – “Heelarious”
- Birthing Pool
- Cardboard cot
And of course the things to look out for here are:
- Has the item sold well at other shows
- How big is the market for the item
- Can they get a special show only offer
- Will competitors have the same deal they do and be at the show
- Do the items they choose complement one another
Ignite Takeoff with Thudguard
And Lorraine’s instinct tells her to choose the Takeoff buggy as one item to sell. Come on! She already knows the number of women choosing home births is 2.2% so the number of people interested in a birthing pool is miniscule and they’re not likely to sell that many at the show.
Kate and Howard are the other members of the team and they recommend Thudguard, the baby helmet, as the other item for their team to sell.
Well done to Kate and Lorraine in asking for a special show discount to give the show visitors an incentive to buy on the day.
Unfortunately, on show day the team discover that an independent buggy seller has brought the same buggy along. Worse, a little later they discover that the buggy is being sold for £100 elsewhere compared to the team’s price of £135.
Plus Lorraine hadn’t paid enough attention to the demonstration to confidentially put up and take down the buggy, so it took quite some time before the team learnt how to demonstrate it properly.
Eventually the buggy starts to sell, despite the competition from the cheaper one elsewhere.
Empire Swayed By Rocking Horse And Birth Pool
Debra wants the rocking horse and is quite happy to allow Ben to suggest the risky strategy of using the rocking horse because with one sale they’re likely to smash Ignite’s sales.
Unlike Ignite neither Ben or Debra request a special show price. Plus on show day they leave the price tags on the three horses they display.
In the end Debra does suggest taking the tags off so that it doesn’t shock people too much. Why aren’t they on the rocking horse showing how strong the horses are? They should be asking people if they’d like to have a go, recreate their childhood!
And Ben who would probably like you to think must be the best salesman in the whole world comes up with that tired old sale line for the rocking horse: “would you be interested in…” and the obvious answer to that is “no!”
One exhibitor expresses an interest in buying a discounted rocking horse, however as the team didn’t negotiate a lower show price they’re completely unable to sell it to them.
Back To The Boardroom
Back in the boardroom Empire sales figures were £722 and Ignite made £1,669.89.
The problem was that Empire didn’t concentrate on selling the birth pools, or getting a special price for the show for the rocking horse. As Sir Alan says what would make the visitor buy it now? Ben complacently points out that the difference in price between the discounted price and the normal price for the rocking horse is nothing.
Debra had pushed through the rocking horse. And she suggested that she’d told her project manager that there was no other product.
When Ben was asked why he shouldn’t be fired. He then talked absolute drivel about how conceptually he was great and how he grafted and the fact that he had potential because he had been offered a scholarship to Sandhurst.
Sir Alan points out that Debra is alienating people on the teams she works with.
In the end Ben gets fired.
Was The Apprentice Firing Fair?
It was a toss-up between Debra and Ben. Debra because she comes across as being very overbearing and not really listening to anything anyone else says. Meanwhile Ben seemed to have lost heart by the time he went into the boardroom, despite being a good and assertive talker.
During the boardroom discussion Sir Alan noted that neither Nick or Margaret were fans of Debra. I suspect that if she gets into a losing team again she’s at a major risk of being fired.
So I didn’t mind whether it was Ben or Debra that went this time. It’s surely only a matter of time before James goes, either quickly followed or preceded by Debra.
Who’s The Favourite To Win At The Moment?
Kate Walsh is still holding her own as my favourite to win The Apprentice.
At the current stage in The Apprentice the people who I could see winning are (In descending order ):
- Kate Walsh
- Howard Ebison
- Yasmina Siadatan
- James McQuillan
- Lorraine Tighe
- Debra Barr