The Apprentice: Week four verdict - Hipsters everywhere!


Right, let’s get down to business. This week’s ‘Apprentice’ task was to find retro or vintage second hand goods and sell them on for maximum profit. One team appeared to be doing reasonably well while the other floundered, and typically the latter ended up winning.

Duane put himself forward for a second week as project manager following last week’s success and was promptly ignored by his team mates in favour of bridal shop owner Laura Hogg. Over on Team Phoenix Tom Gearing took the helm as the teams set to work.

Tom’s first (and as it turns out all-important) decision was to only give his buying team a fifth of their entire budget to go out and buy products. The idea being they’d be forced to think harder about what they bought. As it turns out, wide-eyed Stephen, legit plonker Adam and man-trap Katie didn’t think very hard at all – choosing to buy a lot of old rubbish… or so it seemed.

Laura’s team bolted out of the gate and sought to buy anything and everything, presumably thinking that somewhere amongst the tat would be a golden goose egg that could single-handedly take them to victory. They also, in the show’s best metaphor for the world of business to date, literally tore apart a dead person’s house for things to sell.

Back in the shop Laura set Gabrielle and Jenna to task “up-cycling” the tat to make it more marketable tat. This meant buying lots of materials and apparently the sticking of legs to suitcases, as our model Dara O’Brien displays for us below…

Someone out there probably thinks this is daring.

Back in the shop of Team Phoenix things are looking just a little bit bare, or “minimalistic” if you’re asking the team. It may not scream quality to the masses but looking at the people who ended up going in there and what they were wearing, this fitted the bill.

Sterling’s shop was similar, but more like a stop-over for homeless people with lots of dead leaves on the floor. On the day of the shop opening Sterling’s shop seemed to be doing quite well, with project manager Laura saying all the right things. Alarm bells started ringing towards the end of the day however, when the team got desperate.

Clearly unaware that they were being filmed for a mainstream reality show, the hipsters of London flooded towards Tom’s shop to buy all manner of rubbish. They did well to sell the majority of the small number of products they had, presumably due to a simple business plan that probably looked like this.


It worked however, as Tom’s team stormed to victory with profits of £1063 compared to Laura’s team which made a still not that bad £783.  Was this due to a fantastic team effort? Not at all. Phoenix’s first win was down entirely to project manager Tom and his initial risky strategy of only giving his buying team £200.

In the boardroom project manager Laura let rip on Gabrielle, who was in charge of the design and the spiralling costs therein, sparking a shouty ruckus between the girls as Jenna entered the fray. Laura ended up bringing Gabby back with her, along with Jane McEvoy.

Jane only managed to make the team £10 on the day, an unfortunate number that did her no favours. Maybe this was down to her super aggressive sales tactics, which were only a mean look away from technically being attempted muggings.

Before the trio re-entered the lion’s den Karen Brady whacked another nail in Jane McEvoy’s coffin, but as the candidates sat back down Laura Hogg and Gabrielle Omar fought once more. To the disapproval of Lord Sugar, who took the side (rightly) of Gabby. Maybe if Laura had the gift of the gab she would have done better here but instead she just dug herself a hole.

It came down to Laura and Jane, with Sugar eventually making his decision on Ms McEvoy’s prior failings (remember “one million units”?) and sent the Irish-born company co-founder packing. Her jaw fell, as did nobody else's in the country.

Sorry Jane, you are the only person surprised by this.

Quotes of the week: “If we buy a bin we can funk it up to make it a funky bin” and "That well known saying, 'Never look a gift horse in the eye.'"

Next week: Gyrations and garish shorts as the teams put together their own fitness regimes.