The Apprentice – Week Four

Here we go again with the bunch of hopefuls.  Is it just me or are there no good candidates this year?  I think they should bring the interviews forward – the interviewers would have great fun pulling this bunch apart.  Paul might have potential but he hasn’t really shown us much so far.

The task that they have to try and get through this week is the department store one.  I’m not really sure why Liberty’s keep letting them in – they must like the publicity!

The phone rings and they are given their 20 minute warning so cue shots of people running about, brushing teeth, combing hair and applying make up before they all strut out of the house and into the cars.

The candidates try and look really interested while Sugar gives them a history lesson about the Drapers Guild.  The teams are then told that they are going to Liberty and will get to chose the department they run.  In that department they will have to introduce a new product and run a personal shopping service.

Claude is following Nebula and Karren is following Titans.

Grainne wants to be project leader of Nebula and while sitting around the table Aleksandra announces that she’s leaving the process.  Wearing a horrible onesie thing she gets up and walks out and she’s gone.  She says to camera that she’s found the process too much and she wants to go home to her kids.

The project leader of Titans is up for debate and Sofiane says that he wants to be project manager.  He picks Samuel as the sub-team leader.  Members of Titans are already very worried about Sofiane leading the team despite only seconds ago saying that they supported him.

The teams are now in the store and picking their departments.  Mukai wants to go for leather goods and bags and he goes on about how he has a lot of experience in leather goods – maybe keep that to yourself mate!

Titan decide to go to the scarf department but Nebula also want to go for scarves.  Mukai tells the team that they should go for bags as they are worth a lot more than the scarves.

The teams then go out to look at new products for their departments and they pick something.  The other half of the teams go and dress a window.  Mukai has pages of sketches and all sorts for their window display – I think he’s a stifled designer!

After a night of window displays, etc the teams are back on their way to the store at 7am.  They stand outside and their windows are revealed.  The cat scarves that Sofiane’s team have chosen are really good (not sure they would be worth their, probably, extortionate price tag) but the window display is really eye catching.  Sofiane has a very broad grin.  Grainne’s teams window is very dull in comparison.  Claude says that he doesn’t get the display and what it’s supposed to represent.

Grainne decides to send Karthik to personal shopping as the runner – I don’t know where Karthik should go but I would suggest away from people as much as possible as he does tend to wind them up.

Dillon has been sent to the personal shopping team but he has highlighted that the team failed to get the size of the client, failed to get the budget and failed to get which designers he likes.

Frances is going around the shop with Karthik to select the clothes.  The client comes in and goes through the rack and dismisses many of the clothes as ‘hideous’.

The handbag section is completely empty meanwhile Karthik is being very nice to the personal shopper client – even Claude seems surprised.

It makes me laugh when the team members at the tills (Jessica) are telling customers, ‘that’s JUST £165 please’.  Erm, it’s one scarf, there’s no JUST about £165!!

Paul is doing well, he has sold a bag and has upsold a personal shopping session.  Mukai is singled out by Claude as not being a good sales person especially as he’s an apparent leather expert.

JD is doing nothing on the personal shopping team.  He’s just standing about and doing very little.

6pm; trading is over and it’s time for the teams to go home and the proceeds will be counted.

The following morning arrives and everyone is waiting to be called into Sugar’s boardroom.  They all file in taking special care to make it look like they like each other by taking special care to hold the door open for one another.

Titans to start with.  Sofiane tells Sugar how he took on the scarf department and they picked the cat scarves.  Jessica is told by Karren that she was the highest grossing sales person.  The personal shoppers are told off for not having collected information on their client the day before.  Sugar asked JD what he was doing and JD admits that he ‘struggled to find his place’.

Sugar turns to the other team and speaks to Grainne.  Mukai is grilled on his knowledge of leather goods.  The personal shopper team here were much better, they had gleaned all of the information about sizes and budgets.

The best way of judging though is through the figures and this is how they did:-

Claude reports for Nebula that personal shopping netted £1,205 and the shop floor sales were £3,172.99 – a total of £4,377.99.

Karren reports for Titan that personal shopping netted £1,264.38 and the shop floor sales were £3,995.00 – a total of £5,259.38.

Grainne now has to decide who to take into the boardroom with her.  I’m pretty sure she’ll take Mukai in and Karthik.  Grainne thinks she did really well as project manager – we’ll see!

Paul keeps saying that they should have gone for scarves and he wanted to go for scarves as that is what Liberty is well known for.

Grainne decides to bring back Mukai (called it) and Karthik (called that as well)!  People are so predictable.  Grainne changes Mukai for Rebecca, she then changes it again and brings back Mukai and Karthik!  She should be fired for being so indecisive.

Sugar then has a chat with Karren and Claude before the three of them are sent back in for a firing.

Mukai is on the offensive straight away saying that it’s unfair that he’s been brought back in.  Claude tells Mukai that he did influence the team because he kept telling them how much of a bag expert he was.

Lord Sugar makes the decision that the fault lays with the handbags and Mukai was the greatest influence and he doesn’t have the potential to be a business partner so he’s fired.  Sugar also made it clear to Karthik that he has his eye on him.

Mukai thinks that Lord Sugar made a mistake firing him – well he would!

Another week over and another two candidates gone – 13 remain.

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