The Apprentice UK Series 5 Episode 9

Mona was fired due to lack of creativity in The Apprentice UK Series 5 Episode 8, despite Debra’s mistakes.

Sir Alan drags the teams to a maternity ward. He has arranged a stand at the baby show at Earls Court. Prior to that, they will interview suppliers of baby equipment, from which they will choose two to sell.

Ben and Yasmina go to Empire. Howard goes to Ignite.

Sir Alan appoints the mom and dad as project managers. Lorraine is the leader of Ignite. James is the leader of Empire.

Lorraine went to the baby show a few years ago. She wants to get one high end niche product and one impulse purchase.

The teams are given six hours to review the products on day one.

James and Yasmina go to see a home birth pool, which has been sold at the baby show before. They like the product and the fact that it has had previous success.

The other half of the team, Debra and Ben, goes to see a protective head cap for toddlers. They don’t like the product.

Lorraine goes to see a buggy that folds up easily and can be held in one hand. She loves it. After expressing how much she loves it and would buy one herself, it’s then that she decides to haggle over the price. He agrees to knock off £10.

The rest of her team, Kate and Howard, goes to see high heeled shoes for tiny tots. Seriously? They hate them.

Debra and Ben see some thoroughbred toys for high end buyers. Impressive product, but steeply priced at over £1000. That said, if they sell just one, that’s better than they could do with anything else.

Lorraine likes the birth pool and the stroller. They choose the buggy, since the market for home births is only about 2%. Howard and Kate choose the thud guard, which they know is all about guilting parents into buying.

Ben and Debra are betting on the horse, but they would not choose any of the other products. If her life depended on it, Debra would still not choose anything else. When James forces her to pick, she chooses the thud guard. James and Yasmina want the birth pool, with a second choice of a pushchair. Debra says the pushchair sounds great.

Having picked the buggy, which is a nice product, Lorraine now needs to figure out how the heck to use it.

Both teams know that the rocking horse is critical. One sale, and it’s over. No sales, and it’s over.

Lorraine’s team has discovered that they’re not the only ones selling the pushchairs. She knows that the other seller can change their price, whereas she can’t. Howard knows that, if they lose, they’ve got an excuse. Their other issue with this pushchair is that Lorraine still hasn’t figured out how to correctly fold and unfold it.

Debra and James have decided to take the price tag off their £1700+ horse.

Their birthing pool, discounted to £76, is attracting buyers.

On the other team, while some of the kids aren’t overly crazy about the toddler hat, it’s cheaply priced at £16, so there is a market for it.

As for the buggy, they’ve finally figured it out and are starting to sell. There’s another problem, though. The other buggy seller has it priced £35 cheaper.

Without price tags, the rocking horses are starting to attract attention. Not the right attention because the price is still scaring people. As the day goes by, an exhibitor is looking to buy the horse, but he wants to haggle. They are unable to move on the price and give him £200 off, so they lose the sale. The day ends with that.

Ben says that James hasn’t improved much since last time.

To be fair, Ben may already be trying to cover his own butt, knowing the horse didn’t sell. He says that James and Yasmina were keen on the rocking horse over the phone, so it wasn’t just him and Debra to blame. James felt that the buggy was too expensive relative to others on the market, so that’s why he went with the other choice of the birth pool.

Lorraine’s team supports her. Kate says that she’s improved. They quite liked the head gear as a secondary product, which Ben hated. Lorraine acknowledges that she didn’t check to see whether anyone else was selling it (and cheaper).

Empire sold £722. Ignite sold £1660.89, an obvious landslide because no horses sold. Their reward will be to meet a famous cartoonist and get their caricatures drawn.

Debra wants James fired because he didn’t go with the buggy. Ben will push that card as well, since they don’t have another one to play and need to divert attention away from the rocking horse. Based on the final sales numbers, it would be hard to argue that the buggy was that much different a choice than the birth pool, but they’ll try.

James calls the horse a distraction. They should have focused more on the birth pool. Debra says that they would have won with the buggy. Except the other team sold the buggy, too, and they also had helmet sales to go along with it. Yasmina brings up that Debra repeatedly refused to offer another product as an option.

Ben and Debra claim they were unable to get any movement on the price from the rocking horse vendor. Sir Alan’s response: he checked up on this, and if they pushed him, he would have reduced by the price by something like 10%. That would have been enough to get that deal done at the end of the day.

Obviously, Ben and Debra will be returning. If James could, he would take Debra and Debra. This is the fourth time all of them have returned to the bottom three.

Sir Alan thinks Ben’s too full of himself. Margaret has a lot of sympathy for Ben if he had to spend a whole day with Debra.

Why shouldn’t Ben be fired? The response leads to a lot of babbling until Sir Alan gets tired of hearing it.

James says that he could get along with people, whereas if Debra were hired, half the people would be on strike the first day.

So does anyone have the guts to take responsibility for the horse? Ben says that they share responsibility. Debra lies and pretends she said the head gear was a lower risk option that was good.

Ben’s light at the end of the tunnel has gone out, so he has been fired. As for Debra, she has survived yet another week in which she should have been fired.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another recap of The Apprentice UK Series 5 Episode 10.

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