And Lo it was the Seventh week and a “Day of Rest” was declared by the Lord Sugar for the candidates.

And as always they never seem to have watched this show before, so of course when they’re wanking about in their Pjs and onsies, our favourite Nookie Bear faced Business Bollock pays them a “surprise” visit, jiggles about with the teams (Gary’s moved to Versatile) and sets them the task of starting Discount Stores with £500 capital. The big hint is they need to tempt punters in with cheap branded goods and get their margins with none branded goods – and as cash taken and stock are both counted as assets they need to replenish stocks.

They’re sent to Manchester as Sugar says they have an “excellent array of wholesalers” (and that’s where Sugar thinks all the poor people live).

Joseph’s so keen to run a Versatile comprising of Charleine, Gary, Richard and David (“I love selling so much”) but Gary has experience of working with a retailer and has never been PM. In the end Richard waves his magic willy wand and despite Joseph “really really” wanting to do it, Richard votes Gary to PM. “I’m known as the postman, because I always deliver” Gary boasts (and not because he puts shit through your letterbox).

Scott heads Connexus (Vana, Selina, Brett, Sam) and Vana’s keen on finding items which will sell at higher price higher margins (Selina gives her a hacky look). They end up going for “electronics” and Karren Brady gives a silent observing “WHYYYYY!”. Selina then moans that all the electronic items the team chooses are “male” and there’s no rampant rabbits, tasers or Jeremy Kyle approved Lie Detector Tests (surely there’s a Poundland market for these? You can have the idea Poundland).

Over on Versatile Charleine is OBSESSED by fricking scented candles and poopoos the electric fan Joseph fancies and David’s bubble blower whilst Gary is just befuddled by the constant stream of crap ideas coming from his team (and Joseph shakes his head like a silent Cassandra).

Everyone goes up North, ordering branded goods on the way, with Brett practising his most dated Manchestaaaar accent. Selina just naysays every suggestion, winding up even lovely Sam along the way in what must have been a very long 5 hour drive!

At 10am the teams head to those famed (?) Manchester wholesalers. Scott looks for tech items and Vana tries to help pricing “Let’s put a 180% mark up on those selfie sticks” (serve those vain twats right eh?) and Selina carries on whining. Sam, yet again, fails in maths and Scott ends up looking like a bit of a twat at the checkout and having to take two items off (we’ve all been there – but if you’ve been there over body butter and scented candles get help).

Versatile adapt a more random approach to wholesale buying (though obviously candles feature). Charleine and Joseph attempt to negotiate a BOGOF deal from the wholesaler where none existed and Claude winces (“asking for that is completely absurd”) but he’s wrong as it gets them 5% off and potentially 10% on future bulk purchases.

The teams set up their tables to test out their merchandise before buying up the best sellers.

Charleine continues her war against Richard using guerilla tactics (every time he’s in danger of selling she runs up to his punters and makes them sniff her candles, which they buy to make her go away). When he rightly complains, she blithely states “If you snooze you lose” whilst admitting to VT that the idea of Richard looking pained just makes her want to “smash him all the time”. It’s great, but awful, how utterly evil both Charleine and Selina are coming across in tonight’s show.

In Piccadilly Gardens, Brett and Vana (Vana:“I can’t believe made me sub team leader of a two person team”) attempt to tell people that the “mobile devices” they are selling have had their prices seriously dropped – which is kind of technically illegal so seeing as it’s on film Karren Brady pulls them up on their fibbing and makes them sort out their pricing.

Scott meanwhile is failing to sell or even engage people and sings “Everyone wants to ignore me….” (I think Mancunians can sense sales bullshit). Selina acknowledges he has been a good seller in the past, but “If he’s having a bad day tomorrow maybe I’d be less understanding”. Selina is all heart.

On Versatile’s stall Joseph is doing well (“If I wasn’t selling it I’d be buying it that’s how good it is” – oh you smooth talker!).

Both teams work out the hot sellers and restock with Connexus (Scott) going for more high margin tech goods) and Versatile back to the wholesalers for more value for money.

Next day in the Arndale the teams find their patches. Charleine rushes straight in like Han Solo and Chewbacca ducking under the opening security gate at the empty shop that’s erm right by the pound shop. Nice work there. She sets up straight away putting the impulse buys by the till. Chocolates next to mouth wash… well I can sort of see the logic. Versatile concentrate on pricing up stock rather than inviting people in with low prices.

Meantime Connexus set up the cheap crap near the front and try to keep prices low. Poor Sam doesn’t seem to understand how discount shops work (“You wouldn’t come in, grab something and THEN go shopping” – I beg to differ with the wordsmith here). The team all start barking confusingly divergent opinions again and Selina whinges some more and poor Scott tries to hold it all together by asking Brett and Vana to stay outside and get people into the store (which makes them paranoidly convinced they are being set up for a fail). Whereupon they both sulk dramatically (Sam “It’s a vital role”, Vana “Sam why don’t YOU do it?”)

Gary seems less bothered about getting passing trade in (by say offering lower fucking prices than the pound shop he’s almost next to)than by organising the “Customer Journey” (“Let’s form an orderly journey… this is our toilet world..”) although presumably he spots what Connexus are doing and sends Richard and Joseph out in “Discount Store” T-shirts to direct people into the store. He just ends up in “bants” with Vana and Brett who are sulking at being taken away from pumping up their sales stats and just stare over the balcony at what Versatile are up to.

As a result of watching Versatile’s progress, Brett panics and demands that Scott puts baskets of some of the cheap shit out the front of the shop for a quid. “I want that stuff in there” Scott insists (not totally unreasonably) but Brett’s not happy. “Speak to me like that again?” he barks threateningly and when Scott challenges this he insists Scott should have said “I’d like that stuff like that”. Brett is a bit fricking mad isn’t he? Anyhow to try and control escalatingly mental team dynamics, Scott sends Selina and Sam out and brings Brett and Vana back into the store. And Selina promptly throws an almighty strop. And another one when Scott asks her to help restock in the middle of the day. I’m sensing that Selina is definitely not a team player or a people person. Vana moans that all Selina does is complain. And somewhere a pot is moaning about a kettle. Brett and Vana go on to do really well in the shop, with Vana somehow managing to be charming and sell in Japanese, which really impresses me despite how annoying she is. Funny how much she’s cheered up now she thinks she can attribute sales to herself though. Almost as though it’s not about the team.

Joseph plans to do a bulk buy offer and goes for one on “mouthwash toothpaste a can of drink and biscuits”. Which, whilst I can see the internal logic, doesn’t necessarily work.

Karren Brady totally has it in for Sam, who is currently shouting at a beeping till (“Oh shut up!”), but as Karren Brady hates poor people enough to vote to cut tax credits whilst raking in millions, I don’t give a flying squirrels tit what she thinks.

Whilst Scott has already restocked in plenty of time for Connexus, Gary from Versatile’s gone into hiding to work out what stock he needs whilst everyone’s snowed under with customers (oops) and he leaves it till an hour to go to get in new supplies.

I think the main difference between the two in terms of ambition shines through when both teams have dropped prices and Gary is selling a candle or something “What? £2? OK quickly then..” whereas Scott manages to motivate his massively recalcitrant team the whole way.

Back in the Boardroom and Sugar re-iterates it was “nothing too complicated: buy, sell replenish” before an inevitable fucking barrow boy story ensues.

Claude seems to forget the whole “You don’t ask you don’t get” ethos by having a pop at Gary for not getting BOGOF but instead just getting lots of discounts from the wholesalers for just being a bit cheeky. However Sugar points out that Gary screwed up by not lowering the price on his branded products and putting them out front to get people in, especially being down from the pound shop.

Karren dobs Sam in for bad maths because she clearly fears people with an intellect, and accuses him “crawling around on floor with his calculator”. She also gets Brett and Vana more correctly in trouble for dodgy price claims (Sugar “It has to be on sale for 28 days before you can say that the prices has been dropped from).

Scott is dismayed at how the team dynamics changed to individual selling rather than actual team work, but Brett points out there are stats raised on performance in this show (Brett: “Everyone’s gotta self preservate” um yeah). Sugar insists it is about teamwork (“If the manager hadn’t sold, it wouldn’t matter to me one little bit” and everyone smells BULLSHIT.

Anyhow scores time:

Connexus had cash in the till of £592 and stock to the value of £369, and end up with total assets of £962

Versatile had till cash of only £497.65, but stock of £1013.52, proving that the whole point about the task is the first replenishing (although I can’t work out how stock worth is calculated if the team is either price dropping or brought low). Anyhow Charleine looks smugger than the Cheshire Cat on cocaine holding a winning Euromillions ticket and versatile are sent up the top of the Shard to drink champagnes whilst watching businessmen pooing in the lower floors.

In Sad Café Scott is annoyed by everyone trying to cover their arse rather than working together. Cue an argument (Sam: “I don’t want to be part of all this arguing!”)

Back in the Board Room and Selina looks so fricking angry, mussy haired and flushed that she may well pull a gun and take out whoever wronged her.

Vana insists that Selina is a bitch, but Scott points out they both didn’t listen…and neither (before they can get smug) did Brett and Sam.

Sam’s grassed on by evil Karren for screwing up calculations again, but he insists his attitude was “positive”. However Scott scents blood and asks “where were you when your team needed you?” Sam rightly blames Selina for poor team spirit, but she’s not “gonna make personal comments”, but thinks “there are selfish people I shouldn’t be so sensitive about”. Sugar’s rightly unconvinced about Selina’s recurring sensitivity.

However Scott appears to miss this completely and chooses to bring back Sam and Brett, letting Selina off Scott free. He justifies this by claiming Brett is bullish and aggressive (true) and said he would smash Scott’s face in (UNTRUE and even Sam points this out, justifying my earlier prefix of “Bullshit” for Scott).

Whilst poor Sam fundamentally believes in his business plan, you can tell he’s doomed (although he makes a good point when Scott admits he didn’t trust his team (GASP! How very DARE you!), that this made their failure a self-fulfilling prophecy).

Whilst Sugar isn’t sure he can deal with someone blunt and straightforward that alienates people like Brett (because that’s Sugar’s job) he predictably fires Sam, who, in the taxi of regret insists that “integrity is the key” and finds Scott’s boardroom backlash “deplorable” before zooming off to become Morrissey’s ghost writer.

Back at the house Selina stirs shit against Vana (“Scott said you were difficult to work with”, Vana: “No YOU said that!”, Selina “No Scott did!”).

Next week the teams have to plan children’s parties and Selina sets up a back street abortionist instead or something.

Liking:


David
Joseph

Warming to

(Bullshit) Scott

Not convinced by

Gary

Irritated By

Richard

Disliking

Brett
Charleine
Vana
Selina

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie, Elle, Mergim, April, Sam

My Tips for the Final

Joseph, Charleine, Scott

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