The Apprentice 11.07. Discount Stores

The term 'profit margin' should now be a mantra etched in the mind of every candidate on The Apprentice. This week Lord Sugar armed each team with £500 and tasked them with opening their own discount store in Manchester. Buy stock from wholesalers, sell it, restock, sell again and after counting up assets, the team with the most money won. At least one from the losing team would be fired, you know the drill.

Apparently Garry has the nickname 'The Postman', because he always delivers, get it? As PM he seemed as weak and indecisive as your postie when faced with a particularly hungry Rottweiler. Eventually he settled on homewares and cheap gift items. Scott went down the more 'male' route, of electronics including selfie sticks and extension leads.

All they then had to do was pop into the wholesalers, grab their unbranded products and get out. Alas, Charleine tried to pull a fast one of BOGOF for Team Versatile which was laughed off for a far more sensible 5% off. Yet again Sam struggled with the basics of business, in this case simply adding up the total. He is actually a private tutor which must be alarming for the parents of his students.

The selling also turned farcical; just as Richard was schmoozing the ladies about scented candles and body butter, Charleine gazumped his sale, he really has not won any pals. Across town, Vana was simply making up prices such as £18.99 for a phone charger which failed to fool Karren who warned her of Lord Sugar's fondness for honesty.

For the second day each team was given their own premises in the Arndale Centre. Team Connexus were Discount Haven while Versatile were Manchester's Discount Store, both looked decidedly dodgy and struggled to get traffic in early. Claude had noted that Garry's policy of doubling up the price of branded products failed to entice, understandable when you have the likes of Poundland next door. Then again Garry was struggling with the basics, such as "does Jammie Dodgers go with washing powder?" for his 'House World'. As if he had viewed the shop as some sort of a wonderful experience akin to a theme park.

In Discount Haven Selina was causing trouble yet again; knocking over a display only to childishly proclaim that she didn't touch it. Personalities were beginning to clash, Vana and Brett were sent out to bring in traffic but saw that as setting up the blame game for their comparatively damaged sales figures. Vana did not want to whored out as a sales rep yet she was happy to let old men slowly read the logo which was proudly, tightly displayed across her chest. Brett was also getting heated; the red mist falling as he told Scott, "speak like that to me again". Wisely, Scott backed down.

Richard looked like he was having the time of his life sliding on the floor outside Manchester's Discount Store. The Mancunians were not buying it with Brett noting that he did indeed look like David Brent. Eventually sales picked up for both teams, Joseph came up with 'Five items in a bag for a fiver' while Vana and Brett returned and the till kept on turning.

The key was to replenish stock, Connexus got theirs in at lunchtime while Garry from Versatile was to be found lying on the stockroom floor idly making notes. After the inevitable last minute price drops the lack of restocking failed to make a dent as Versatile romped home to the tune of £1511.07 to Connexus' paltry £962.04. In the boardroom Scott became desperate and alleged that Brett had threatened to 'smash my face in', thankfully denied by Sam and Karren. Despite Brett's aggressive manner he does seem to have a sense of business acumen which could not be said for Sam, who was rightfully fired.

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