The Apprentice 2013 candidates are given their latest task tonight: To create a new flat pack furniture product.
While enjoying the rare luxury of a day off at the house, the candidates are summoned to meet Lord Sugar at Angel Building, Islington, to be assigned their third task.
As he greets the candidates with Nick Hewer and Karren Brady, Lord Sugar explains this week’s task:
“This is the home of The Design Council. One of the biggest revolutions in the last 50 years in design is the rise of the flat-pack and self-assembly furniture market, and your task this week is to come up with an innovative flat-pack piece of furniture. You are going to have to design the product, prototype it and pitch it to retailers. And it’s very simple, the team that gets the most amount of orders for their furniture wins, and the losing team… one of you will be fired.”
The teams have two days to create a unique piece of flat pack furniture, retailing at £75, before pitching their product to potential buyers. Prior to setting off on the task, the ladies are given a polite word of advice from Lord Sugar: “Two weeks have gone by. You lost the last two tasks; it’s time for you to show me what you can do.”
A confident Natalie nominates herself Project Manager of the girls’ team Evolve while Jordan heads up the boys’ team Endeavour.
Jordan offers the boys the opportunity to present their creative ideas to the group. Kurt’s suggestion does not go down well, as Nick Hewer explains: “Well I’ve just stumbled out of the brainstorm, ideas are fizzing away. A particularly horrible idea from Kurt; it was a chair that you sit on into which you put all your recycling material, old fish bones, tin cans smelling of such and such. I’ve never come across such a revolting idea.”
Alex’s idea of a table that turns into a chair is well received by the group, especially by Project Manager Jordan. Half the boys are sent out to conduct market research whilst the design team, made up of Jordan, Jason, Alex and Neil work on the dimensions of the chair. Will their product measure up in the eyes of the retailers?
Focusing on the lack of storage and space many people face, the girls become enthusiastic about an idea offered up by Francesca for a multi-functional ‘cube.’ The group energetically comes up with ideas on how to develop the product further, talking over one another, much to the annoyance of both Karren and Francesca. Karren states: “On this team we have a load of talkers, but unfortunately not many listeners. Francesca has come up with the idea of a cube that’s multi-functional, one side is a chair, one side is a table, and one side is storage. It’s quite a good idea but suddenly it’s becoming very embellished.”
Francesca becomes very frustrated by the lack of listening from the girls, while Rebecca voices her trepidation over the cube concept to Natalie. Sophie, Leah, and Rebecca are assigned to work on the market research and report mixed feedback and their reservations about the current design. With creative input from Uzma, Natalie decides to go ahead with the initial idea, which includes a clever interlocking system. When the final product arrives the reaction is mixed - will the girls triumph or have they boxed themselves into a corner?
Both teams hit the streets to secure retail orders and are given a helping hand from Lord Sugar who has laid on appointments for them at department store John Lewis and catalogue chain Argos. Will the teams crumble under the pressure of pitching to buyers who represent outlets across the UK or manage to secure big orders?
Business owner Luisa leads the first appointment with the retailers for the girls’ product ‘TidySidey’ by highlighting its key features: a seamless interlocking design and great storage space. Karen notes, “It’s not the best looking product I have ever seen but actually the pitch is very convincing. They might just talk someone into stocking this product.”
For Endeavour, Neil leads the pitch for the boys’ product ‘Foldo’ with a confident start. However, Alex then assembles the product with his back facing the retail panel, leading Nick to dub his performance “a clumsy effort.” Will the girls’ stylish pitch overcome potential drawbacks in their product’s appearance or will Alex’s mistake become a bum note for Endeavour?
Next episode: Wednesday 22nd May, 9pm on BBC One and BBC One HD
Browse pictures of tonight's show below...