It's boys v girls on The Apprentice this week as the remaining candidates are tasked with opening a new business in just two days.
On the first day of the task, each team is given £150 to buy stock to sell from a stall at Spitalfields Market in East London. They must then reinvest their profits in new stock to fill a shop in Shoreditch for the second day of selling. The battle of the sexes is on right from the start with Myles stating: “I’m delighted, I think we’ve got a much stronger team. We literally need to smash this.” Luisa is full of confidence that the girls’ team will be victorious, stating: “We have so totally something to prove to those stupid boys. They’ve got Myles, boring. Jordan hasn’t really sold that much. And Neil is really strong but [on] sales, we’re stronger.”
Before both teams plan their strategy for the task, they must first decide on a Project Manager. On Endeavour, both Myles and Jordan put themselves forward to lead and Neil is left with the deciding vote. He elects Myles as PM, giving him an opportunity to test his mettle in the role for the second time in the competition. For Evolve, Leah and Luisa both volunteer to take the role of Project Manager, but Francesca decides to opt for Luisa due to her experience running her own retail businesses.
The girls quickly decide to stock their stall with fashion items, while the boys find it difficult to make a choice about which type of products to buy. Observing the boys’ team, Karren Brady explains: “The boys have spent so much time this morning talking and dithering, and debating. They’ve got no strategy at all about what they’re going to stock, what they’re going to buy and who they’re going to sell to.” Their procrastinating eventually becomes too much and Karren attempts to chivvy them along asking: “Have you guys made a decision?”
The girls make a head start on the boys, allowing them to check out the competition at the market and purchase their first products from wholesalers. Jordan is frustrated with his team’s lack of direction declaring: “Myles has been a little bit indecisive. I think at this late stage he’s scared to put his neck on the line. The biggest mistake we’ve made today has been making Myles PM instead of me.” Will the girls prove to have jumped the gun with their quick decisions or will the boys’ late start mean they are unable to catch up with the girls?
Both teams take different approaches to stocking their market stall and choosing product lines. Project Manager Luisa plans for her team to follow the “stack it high, sell it cheap” approach. Francesca explains: “We’ve gone for the wholesalers that we know are a little bit cheaper so we can have some competitive prices on the market. I’m glad we didn’t go for the more top-end stuff, I think what we’ve chosen will work well.”
However, Myles and Neil, who buy just 16 items to sell, believe that higher-end home ware will bring in the biggest return. Not all the boys are happy with this plan, as Jordan worries: “My big fear at the moment is actually they’ve got 16 products and I think the price points are a little bit high for the products that we’re selling. We’re going to have to get some pretty affluent customers who are going to want to come in and spend £20 on what is effectively a ceramic rubber glove.”
Which products will prove most popular at Spitalfields Market? As the candidates reinvest their profits from day one into stock for their shop in day two of the task, will the bestselling items continue to pay off? After two days of hard graft, the candidates must return to the boardroom to find out who has made the most money and accumulated the most assets. In the losing team, which candidate will hear the infamous words ‘You’re Fired’?
The Apprentice 2013 airs tonight at 9PM on BBC One.
Browse pictures of tonight's show below...