Saturday 21 September 2019

The Apprentice candidates indulge in in-house squabbling, customer poaching, and borderline fraud

Vana Koutsomitis (left) and Brett Butler-Smythe being told off by Karren Brady in the latest Apprentice challenge.
Vana Koutsomitis (left) and Brett Butler-Smythe being told off by Karren Brady in the latest Apprentice challenge.
Joseph Valente (left) and David Stevenson in the latest Apprentice challenge.
Gary Poulton (centre) selling to the public in the latest Apprentice challenge.
(left to right) Gary Poulton, David Stevenson and Joseph Valente re-thinking their sales strategy in the latest Apprentice challenge.
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Things hit a new low on The Apprentice this week as two candidates find themselves reprimanded by Lord Sugar's aide Karren Brady for their dodgy sales techniques.

Brady was compelled to intervene when Team Connexus's Vana and Brett's audacious sales tactics bordered on fraud as they falsely advertised price reductions.

It wasn't the only disaster for Team Conexus this week, however, as they lost the task...

As the episode kicked off Lord Sugar unexpectedly popped up at the candidates' residence in an effort to keep them on their toes after last week's shock triple firing.

Richard Woods and Charleine Wain deciding what items they will buy in the latest Apprentice challenge.
Richard Woods and Charleine Wain deciding what items they will buy in the latest Apprentice challenge.

He challenged them to open a discount store and in two days turn products into profit at a location in Manchester.

Gary was voted PM for Team Versatile and said, “In my industry, I’m known as the postman as I always deliver.”  Turned out the did actually deliver on this occasion...

Scott was PM for Team Connexus who got off to a dodgy start by choosing to sell electronics in their discount store despite the fact, as Karen pointed out, that they had all shopped in discount stores before and none of them had mentioned electronics.

Selina admitted it was a risky strategy since she admitted none of them had bought electronic products in a discount store before...

Team Versatile stocked up on candles and towels in a bit of a scattergun approach, according to Claude Littner.

Sam was in charge of figures but was left red-faced when he miscalculated the total cost of the 84 items so the team had to leave a few products behind.

The Apprentice 2015 - Sam Curry
The Apprentice 2015 - Sam Curry

Scott struggled to make any sales of the electronic products, but Sam and Selina managed to pick up the slack.

"Imagine if we were all shit?" she said.

Both teams struggled with their shop layouts, with Gary wondering, “Do Jammie Dodgers go with washing powder?”.

Richard attempted to use dancing to tempt people into the shop, but it looked like he was simply scaring customers away.

“I’d rather not do anything than dance like that. That was embarrassing” said Brett, "He so reminds me of David Brent."

Brett and Vana went off to scope out their rivals' attempts and gain some insider information. They came back to the team and made changes in order to compete.

However, they were in trouble later when Karren tackled them on the dodgy price reductions.

It all combined for disaster for Conexus, who lost the task, making more than 50% less than Team Versatile.

Team Conexus (PM Scott – with Brett, Sam, Selina and Vana) made £962.04 while Team Versatile (PM Gary – with Charleine, David, Joseph and Richard) made £1511.07 and earned themselves a VIP champagne experience at the top of The Shard.

Back in the boardroom, Lord Sugar told the losing team, “It sounds to me less of a pop-up shop, more of a cock-up shop.”

After their defeat, Scott brought Sam and Brett into the boardroom.

“Scott, your performance in this particular task leads me to think that maybe there’s a lack of consistency. It puts into doubt your ability to remain," said Lord Sugar.

"Sam, the last time you were in this position, it was that close that you were going and to be perfectly frank with you, I left you in the process because I thought well look, give this chap another chance.

"But Brett, I’m not sure whether I can deal with someone as blunt and straightforward, that clearly alienates people.

"It’s regretful that I have to say, I have concluded that Sam, it is with regret Sam that…You’re Fired.”

Episode 8 airs next week, Wednesday 25th November, 9pm on BBC One.

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