Cesim Retail

Retail Store Management Simulation

Cesim Retail puts the participants in charge of a store or a franchise with multiple stores in a seasonal environment. 

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Retail industry, store management, retail marketing, consumer behavior.

Used in:

Various marketing courses, retail management courses, franchise operations courses.

Case scenario:

The default case is based on running a single convenience store or a multi-store franchise in different demographic areas. Each simulation round corresponds to one quarter of a year and seasonality is an important decision-making factor.

Participant tasks:

In competition with other teams, participants manage procurement and inventory, pricing, advertising, and promotion campaigns across different product categories. In addition, the simulation includes modules for operational and strategic decisions such as store layout, operating hours, staffing, loyalty programs, store remodeling, new store locations, and cash flow management.

Key learning areas:

During the rounds participants experience how consumer preferences and competitor actions influence pricing and profitability, interlinks between procurement, inventory levels, and cash flow management, utilization of permanent and temporary staff in seasonal variations, store layout and store remodeling impact to sales, and capital appraisal for new store locations.

Key success factors:

The essence of the Cesim Retail simulation is to mirror the operations of a typical retail store or franchise, tie together multiple business concepts and allow for a successful execution of alternative strategies. The simulation is designed to reward those who can best identify underlying trends, analyze competition, and successfully formulate a winning strategy. Success of the teams is presented with multiple industry-specific indicators, customer reports, operational reports, and financial reports.

Expected outcome:

Participants develop capabilities in formulating, implementing, and adapting business strategies and decisions in a competitive environment. In addition, they will enhance their fact-based decision-making skills and improve their financial knowledge through linking operational decisions to cash flows and bottom line performance. The simulation exercise also gives practical experiences in team-work and problem solving, and excites competitive spirits in a dynamically evolving marketplace.


The simulation offers powerful user-level customizability and modularity options that allow it to be adjusted for different target groups and experience levels. In addition, the system permits the instructors to create and modify their own cases with personalized market outlooks and storyline.

Available languages:

English, French, Simplified Chinese, Finnish.


DPAM, Australian Association of Convenience Stores, Association of Convenience Stores (UK), Helsinki Business College.

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