Eastwood praises ‘Michbus’ for earning fistful of dollars!

Apprentice star, Jim Eastwood, has awarded Michelin and Wrightbus second place in the Marie Curie Shop Challenge after the two companies joined forces to battle it out against other businesses to raise the most money for the cancer charity.

As part of the challenge, eight employees from the Michelin and Wrightbus factories in Ballymena took over the running of the Marie Curie charity shop on Wellington Street for a day to compete against 16 other businesses in Northern Ireland working in similar Marie Curie outlets.

By working together to charm customers, create attractive window displays, and gather and arrange stock to sell, Michelin and Wrightbus boosted sales by 772 per cent compared to the previous week. The team also collected 64 bags of stock to sell in the store on the day.

The winners of the challenge were announced at an Apprentice-style boardroom showdown in Cultra Manor, Holywood, after each company faced a panel of judges, including Jim Eastwood, who questioned them on their tactics for maximising sales and stock during the event.

As well awarding points for raising the most money, the panel gave bonus marks to the teams who recruited new volunteers and generated the most stock.

Representatives from Michelin and Wrightbus were presented with a trophy for second place after judges were impressed with their creativity in attracting customers into the shop and their tremendous sales increase.

Narrowly beating them to the top spot was the Public Prosecution Service who collected 131 bags of stock and boosted sales by 747 per cent.Overall, the challenge helped to raise a staggering £39,201 for Marie Curie Cancer Care, which equates to 1,960 hours of Marie Curie nursing care.

Chris Daniells, tyre building shop manager at Michelin, who took part in the contest, said: “The day was certainly challenging – it was just like the Apprentice in that regard. However, our last minute decision to bring in a DJ seems to have been a key part of our success. We were over the moon to come runners up in the challenge and it’s all thanks to the residents of Ballymena. We were overwhelmed by the amount of support and donations we received. We also received support from local businesses who donated prizes for us to incentivise customers and we are grateful for that too.

“It’s brilliant that we raised so much money that will go towards funding Marie Curie nurses who provide fantastic care and support for terminally ill people and their families. Of course, we now want to go one better and win it next year!”

Michelin’s participation in the Marie Curie Charity Shop Challenge is part of its CSR activity, known as Performance and Responsibility Michelin (PRM). As part of the PRM framework, which has been running for a decade, the company has supported many worthwhile projects in and around its manufacturing operations in Ballymena, as well as its factories in Dundee and Stoke-On-Trent.