Monday, April 16, 2012

Jane- You're (finally..) fired!

My apologies for a delayed post everyone, I spent the week in Spain and the only shows you have on TV there are in Spanish...So-

The Apprentice- Week 4:

It was an interesting task this week, all about the saying: One men’s trash is another’s treasure.
Lord Sugar asked the teams to source second hand stock, they then have one day to sell it for maximum profit in a shop set up in Brick lane, east London.
Both teams received 1,000 pounds.
Did you know dealing in second hand stock is a 2 billion pounds a year industry?

Laura was the PM for Sterling while Tom was the PM for Phoenix. Two completely different styles of management and strategies.
Laura chose to turn trash into cash, buy as many items as possible for as cheap as possible spruce them up adding value and hopefully raising the profit margins.
Tom chose a more risky strategy, minimalistic so no clutter. Quality over quantity basically less is more!
Only it’s a thin line between minimal and emptiness and they did not see the size of the shop before buying their stock making this risky.

Sterling named their shop Vintage gold. Phoenix was named Retro station.

Laura’s team ended up buying 200 items, Gabrielle got another chance at showing her creativity honestly, I wasn’t very impressed. She claimed to know what’s hot qua design- thinking its cheesy touristy Union Jack..? Laura forgot one key point though- sprucing up costs money and you do need real expertise.

Tom’s team bought only 50 items...selectively picked. He initially gave out only 200 pounds to buy stock! This seemed a little foolish at first but no one stood up to him so to speak, they did as best they could what he delegated, complained to the cameras however.
Laura’s team was much more enthusiastic, chaotic maybe and worked very much as a team.
Both teams bought in auction houses, house clearance, car boot sales and junk stores.

The sprucing up took up so much time that Sterling opened their store late, their designed proved to be very hard to sell so the sales tactic was very pushy and aggressive especially by Jane. Around lunch time, Laura decided to print fliers and send a promotional team out to the streets bringing the clients over hoping the traffic will mean cash.
Their stock did not look the part, the vintage did not look authentic and the shabby chic was mostly shabby..Visitors said they didn’t “buy” it"!

Tom’s team sale technic was more friendly, easy going and the items selectively picked proved to a be a success. They did add stock during the day so the shop doesn’t look empty.

In the board room Lord Sugar announced that Laura’s team made a profit of 783 pounds, their costs totaled 600 pounds.
Phoenix made a profit of 1,063 pounds, costs totaling in just 300 pounds!

So who would you blame for the lose?
To me it’s clear- The sprucing up was out of control, no one checked it before hand. Gabrielle's creativity got them no where fast!

Lord Sugar also thought the was no order or control over the budget. Laura said Gabrielle was like a child in the candy store, she bought things with out really taking a moment to think about it however, she was the PM!
They did no market research qua design. They took Gabi's word for it which proved a mistake as Union Jack was too cheesy, people didn’t like it and their shabby chic attempt wasn’t a good one.

He had to choose from Gabrielle, Laura who might have missed the plot and couldn’t manage her team or Jane, who has shown nothing through out the process and sold only 10 pounds worth..can you imagine??

Gabrielle literally saved herself by saying to the others at least I tried, what did you do? Apparently Lord Sugar liked that.
Jane being on the loosing team from the start, selling so poorly and being very aggressive with the clients was the fourth victim and was fired!
I think it was a mixed blame between Gabi and Laura. I would still fire Gabi.
Jane is an unlikeable person in my eyes, full of herself. She has an impressive CV on paper only though and she thinks she’s better then the rest and yet, has nothing to back it up with. Maybe she sold poorly but that didn’t cost them the task. She shouldn’t have been fired on this task but I wont miss her..

Tom is a man of few words, he take’s risks and he might just be my favorite to win

Tune in on Thursday for week 5! Happy Monday!

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