Wherstead: Folding camper OPUS from BBC 1 show The Apprentice is selling fast
- Credit: Archant
A Wherstead-based firm has been bombarded with interest after its new folding camper appeared on BBC 1’s hit series The Apprentice.
Purple Line Limited, which is based at the Peninsula Business Centre, launched its latest product – the OPUS folding camper – at last year’s Motorhome and Caravan Show at the NEC in Birmingham where it was sold by candidates from the business reality programme.
Since then, it has been selling well. But following Wednesday night’s show, phone calls and emails have not stopped, according to marketing manager Rod Green.
Last summer, the firm was approached by the production company behind The Apprentice, who wanted to feature it as one of the high-value products the teams could sell. It was chosen by team Evolve, led by Neil Clough, who, together with Jason Leech, sold three.
Sales from the luxury item ultimately won them the task, as they took home an impressive £33,615, compared to team Endeavour, which pulled in a pitiful £1,479.
Mr Green said: “It was a real coup. Selling them the OPUS won them the task.
“We did not know the specifics of how they did before watching the show, but we knew they had sold some as we had to process the sales.
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“Since 11pm on Wednesday night, we have been ridiculously busy with emails and calls coming from all quarters.
“My head has been spinning!”
The company had planned to launch the OPUS at the caravan show anyway but were delighted when they were picked, along with a number of other firms, to feature on the programme.
Endeavour chose a retro-style caravan, but failed to sell any, and it was team leader Kurt Wilson, and Natalie Panayi, who both got fired by Lord Sugar.
Mr Green added: “It was serendipity really. We are a design manufacturing company which works out of a barn in Wherstead and we have been involved with making recreational vehicle accessories.
“This is our first foray into creating a camping solution. The OPUS combines luxury living and ease of use.
“The production team had been looking online for products and found ours and approached us.
“We have had amazing sales from it – about eight a week. Since it kicked off at the NEC, we have been playing a cycle of catch-up.
“We were very pleased with how the product was featured and how the guys sold it. We would have hoped to do the same – if not a few more, but they did incredibly well.”
The camper, which is a trailer that can be transformed into a living space, will be taken on a roadshow next week to venues such as festivals.
It was designed and manufactured by Purple Line Ltd, a small firm with just 12 employees, which was set up in 2000.