Urban Cedar Managing Director Antony Perry has been inundated with enquiries about his unique hot tub designs since their starring role in last week’s episode of ‘The Apprentice’ was a key element of the BBC programme.
Antony, a Hot Tub Retailer magazine Talking Heads industry expert who runs the 2014 WhatSpa? Approved company’s unique hybrid concept cedarwood product manufacturing operation in Bristol, was featured during the eighth episode of the BBC1 series on Wednesday night. It was filmed in May at the Royal Bath & West Show where Urban Cedar was exhibiting and achieved 30 hot tub sales at the four-day event.
With the help of digital marketing sales manager Mark Wright and award-winning fitness entrepreneur Katie Bulmer-Cooke, the victorious Team Tenacity managed to sell ten of the Urban Cedar hot tubs during the first day of the Royal Show, which catapulted their final sales total to over £30,000 and easily surpassed their Team Summit rival’s meagre £4,757 total as they struggled to sell tractors.
Multiple-business owner James Hill’s blunder in calling Antony by the wrong name of Derek proved costly for both Team Summit, which he was leading, and his own run on the show.
It resulted in him losing out to Team Tenacity, led by lawyer Felipe Alviar-Baquero, in the pre-sales battle for the chance of retailing the Urban Cedar hot tubs during England’s biggest celebration of rural life and only four-day Royal Show; which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Golden Shears Open Championship with the first winner from 1964, Ian Stewart, returning to the Show from his home in New Zealand.
The tweeting public took James to task for his mistake and predicted his demise online, while The Apprentice programme was being aired during its 9pm BBC1 slot. Their judgement proved to be correct when he was criticised for his actions and then fired by Lord Sugar in the boardroom, who had warned that the product choice was pivotal to success during the sales task.
Later in the BBC2 ‘The Apprentice: You’re Fired’ programme, James received a paddling pool and a kettle as a consolation prize for his departure. It was revealed Lord Sugar reluctantly fired the Chesterfield entrepreneur, but stressed that he ‘will go somewhere’ in the future.
Antony, who produces the six-seater 2014 WhatSpa? Best Buy Award-winning Sport (Base) model that comes in at 200 x 200 x 80cm, is also hoping to go far in the hot tub market in the New Year as a result of The Apprentice publicity, including newspaper and TV magazine coverage during the past week.
He reported that there had been a long process to undertake, commencing in February, as part of the programme preparations by the production team. The hard work had paid off, though, and it has been an instant success for the specialist hot tub company, with high levels of interest via telephone and emails from viewers wanting to know more about Urban Cedar’s products.
According to Antony, the exposure has helped to make an instant impact by increasing the company’s profile to potential customers and he revealed enhanced preparations for further growth in 2015 are in the final stages. It follows the company’s achievement in becoming a hot tub supplier for Hoseasons this year.
“The Apprentice has been fantastic exposure for us and excellent publicity for our products,” said Antony; “It was quite an entertaining episode and we’ve had a very positive result from it.
“Everybody we’ve been speaking to has seen the programme. We’ve also been swamped with telephone calls and emails from people saying they’ve seen our hot tubs on TV and would like to receive further information.
“It was a good exercise for us and has put our name out there in the market, but we really have had to put a lot of work into the process to achieve this success.
“We took five Urban Cedar models to the Royal Bath & West Show, including a solid wood design, our best-selling round tubs, a two-person model, and a square design for people who want that shape. It was a lot of strain doing the exhibition alongside all of the filming commitments for the TV cameras, but if you put the hard work in then you get out the good results.
“The Apprentice team wanted us to be featured in this particular episode. So they did all of the running from when the initial negotiations with us commenced in February and then right until the day-and-a-half filming in May for the eighth episode of the current series.”
Antony revealed that Urban Cedar is in the final stages of completing a new website design, which is being launched early in the New Year, with new functionality to promote the manufacturer’s domestic and commercial value-for-money ranges.
He is also planning to return to the Royal Bath & West Show next year, which will be launching its inaugural ‘SportsVillage’ for the 2015 edition running from May 27 to 30 at the Showground, in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
“We’ve done really well this year with our sales and becoming a hot tub supplier for Hoseasons and so we’re feeling very positive about 2015,” divulged Antony.
“At the moment I think it is a buyer’s market and consumers are trying to get the best deals possible. But in our particular case we can be very competitive with our product pricing policy as we manufacture everything ourselves in Bristol.
“We have not booked yet, but we will probably be doing the Royal Bath & West Show again next year. It’s good for people to see our products and it will help us to build on the publicity we’ve achieved this time round.
“I’m confident that it’s going to be a very good year for us after we launch our new website at the start of 2015 to enhance our product promotion even further.”