Retail Mix

A business oriented group dynamics team building simulation











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RETAIL MIX explores marketing and profit concepts. Additionally it can be used as a business oriented group dynamics team building simulation

Participants are responsible for marketing two ranges of product into two outlets. They have to decide the markups for the ranges and the sales staff for the outlets. Based on these the simulator calculates sales, a profit and loss account and a forecast for the next period.

Participants have unit sales, revenue and profit targets. Optionally, individuals can be assigned responsibilities for meeting these targets and authority for making decisions in one area. This can be used to explore team working behaviours, especially from period four onwards where an additional report shows performance against budget! (And can be used to instigate conflict!). However, the matrix of decisions and results means that, to be successful, the team must overcome any conflict.

Retail Mix is ideal for sales and marketing courses and courses exploring behaviour (where it can replace team building activities that are not business based). It can be used on sales and business conferences (where it can be used to develop leadership and team working skills without dangling your key staff on a rapidly fraying rope over a pit of alligators - unless you have people you wish to dangle).


Key Learning


Ways of Using



For junior to middle managers
Duration - 3 hours
Type - Direct Use

Main Topics
Group Dynamics
Interpersonal Conflict


KEY LEARNING: The simulation covers these issues:

AVAILABILITY: This business simulation is designed to be used by your trainers.

Learn more about running a business simulation yourself.

DURATION: Three hours. This short duration allow the simulation to fit into most course time-tables (even the "difficult" after dinner slot).

TARGET AUDIENCE: The simulations are designed to be used by trainees, junior management up to middle management, functional specialists and supervisors. Or, as an ice breaker, for all levels up to senior management.

METHOD: After a short briefing the training group is divided into several teams of three to five participants. Each consider the problem facing them and then make a series of decisions that are fed, by the team, into their own microcomputer that simulates their effect. The results are printed for the team to analyse before making their next decisions. This decision-making cycle should be repeated for at least eight periods. At the end of the simulation phase the teams reunite to discuss and compare results.

The simulations may be used with any number of teams and, if necessary, up to three teams may share a microcomputer.

HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS: Ideally a single PC and printer for each teams (of four or five participants). But, if necessary two or three teams can share a single computer with printer.

The simulation uses an advanced simulator that supports tutoring, provides for ease of use and will run on all Windows operating systems from Windows 98 thorough Windows 8.



Initially, participants are selling an established range into an established outlet. At the same time they must launch a new range and penetrate a new area. During the simulation, teams must price and staff to grow the sales of the new range and the new outlet. In doing so, the contribution of the established range selling into the established outlet will fall from about sixty percent to about twenty-five percent.


Besides seeing the financial impact of decisions in terms of total revenue, cost of sales, promotion costs and profit, participants should review the separate profit contribution of each range and each outlet.


The purpose of the simulation is to be successful and to meet targets for unit sales of the ranges, area revenues and overall profit. Initially, meeting targets is not emphasised. However, in the fourth period an additional report is produced summarising performance against the targets for the period and cumulatively. Later, in period six, a further report quantifies the costs of budget variances. So, the simulation can be used to demonstrate to sales people how their actions influence purchasing and financing costs. Further, it can be used to show how maximising the results from one part of the business may sub-optimise the profits of the business as a whole.


Each team can consist of between three and five participants, each of whom can be assigned a role - range manager, sales manager and marketing manager. The range managers are responsible for meeting unit sales targets for the ranges and have the authority to set selling prices. The sales managers are responsible for meeting area revenue targets and have the authority for setting promotion levels. The marketing manager is responsible for overall profit and co-ordination but has no decision-making authority.


The initial de-emphasis of targets means that each team tends to work in an unfocussed collaborative manner aiming at maximising unit profits and forgetting about the targets. However, when the target comparisons are produced and, if the trainer rewards those participants who are close to target, this will introduce conflict. (This is especially true if, at this point, the trainer announces a prize for the individual closest to budget at the end of the simulation.) However, to meet individual and team goals, conflict must be resolved and individuals collaborate.


The matrix of authorities and responsibilities means that, for an individual to meet his or her target, he or she must negotiate with the others and make trade-offs.


In terms of team behaviour, each team moves from a friendly, unfocussed group, through a period of conflict to a well-balanced purposeful team. To help explore this, an optional questionnaire is provided. The questionnaire asks individuals their feelings about fellow team members - feelings that may include helpful, determined, disorganised, divisive, weak, etc..


This simulation is available for company training on a per course rental basis (rather than on a per participant basis) and for academic (university) and school use on a per course and an annual unlimited use basis. For you convenience you can pay in pounds sterling (), US Dollars () or Euros.

Learn more about the rental process

Training Type


Company Training




Academic (single course)




Academic (annual use)




School (single course)




School (annual license)





  1. Single company training course is up to 30 participants Beyond that for each group of 30 a copy of the business simulation must be rented.

  2. Rentals in the UK and the European Union will incur VAT (Value Added Tax) at 20%. For the rest of the world VAT is not charged.

  3. Company Training use is invoiced after successful use. Academic and School use is invoiced before use.


This business simulation can be used:


Documentation is provided separately for the UK and US Versions MS Word format and comprises:

A Participants' Manual that provides, for the participants. a description of the simulation, a description of their task and how to use the software.

The Background Notes describe the simulation for the trainer and may be used as a handout to the participants at the end of the simulation. (Please contact us for copies of these).

The Record Sheets are optional and are provided to allow teams to share key results as the simulation progresses.

Using the Simulator provides, for the trainer (and computer support staff), information about installing the simulation and the use of the software.

Running the Simulation provides, for the trainer, information about running the simulation.

Briefing is a MS Power Point briefing explaining the simulation to the participants. (You may find it useful if you review this before reading the briefs.)

UK Versions US Versions
Participants' Manual Document Size 51k bytes Document Size 51k bytes
Record Sheet Document Size 23k bytes Document size 23k bytes
Using the Simulator
Running the Simulation Download 64k Bytes Download 64k Bytes
Briefing Download 103k Bytes


This is provided to allow you to download an evaluation version of the simulation.

The table below shows the files to download, their description and size. You should copy them to a folder, a USB Flash Drive or even to floppy discs! Run setup.exe. The program will then install.

If, instead of installing from the Web, you are installing from the CD-ROM version of this resource you can install directly by clicking setup.exe and opening the file.

Note: When downloading the setup.lst file you must right click and then select Save As. (If you left click the file will open - this is a feature of Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.)

File Description Size
setup.exe Installation Program 137 Kbytes
Setup.lst Installation Data 5 Kbytes Simulator Files (1) 1,282 Kbytes Simulator Files (2) 835 Kbytes

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2001 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall

Most recent update: 16/09/13
Hall Marketing, Studio 11, Colman's Wharf, 45 Morris Road, London E14 6PA, ENGLAND
Phone +44 (0)20 7537 2982 E-mail