Apprentice-Style Challenge Hits Leicester Market

February 2, 2017

Wednesday 1 February saw 15 aspiring future business leaders from across the UK take part in an ‘Apprentice-style’ challenge at Leicester Market, as part of Leicestershire furnishing giant Dunelm’s Graduate Leadership Assessment Centre.

The candidates started their day at 4.30am and were given a set budget to spend with Total Produce, based at Leicester’s Wholesale Fruit Market and The Flower Company in Freemans Common. The candidates then made their way over to Leicester Market and started trading at 7.30am on four market stalls.

Throughout the day the four teams – ‘Fruits to Go’, ‘6-a-Day’, ‘Fresh Start’ and ‘Wholesale to Home-Start’ raised a total of £1,121 in profit, all of which will go to Dunelm’s charity partner, Home-Start UK. The Leicester-based charity provides support, guidance and practical help to over 30,000 families struggling with complex issues across the UK.

Multi-million-pound homeware retailer Dunelm first begun trading at Leicester Market back in 1979 when founder Bill Adderley began selling ready-made curtains on a stall. The first Dunelm shop was opened in Leicester in 1984 and over the following years the business developed into a successful chain of high street shops before expanding into broader homewares categories following the opening of the first Dunelm superstore in 1991. There are currently over 160 Dunelm stores nationwide, coordinated from their headquarters in Syston, Leicestershire. 

22-year-old Sheffield Hallam student, Shane Greenstock, said of the day:

“Today we’ve been selling fruit and veg on a Leicester Market stall – going back to Dunelm’s original roots. I’ve worked at my local Dunelm store in Cambridge for the past four years whilst I’ve been studying, and I applied for their graduate programme last year. We had a tough screening day yesterday and today we’ve been doing something completely different – selling as much produce as we can to make as much money as we can for Home-Start.”

New traders wishing to get their business up and running can now do so at a huge discount, courtesy of Leicester Market’s New Trader Scheme. Whether it’s at Leicester Market or Beaumont Leys Market, you could trade for as little as £6 a day.

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