In The Sims 4: Get To Work you are given the chance to design, build, and run your own retail store. The word retail is a broad term and the functionality of stores in The Sims 4 is just as big. You can sell almost anything: clothing, furniture, electronics, art, books. You can even start a bakery. All you need for a retail store is a cash register and a little starting capital.
In this guide, we take you through how to open a retail store, what the best items to stock are, how to set profit margins, and how to make your store more appealing. We also look at how to maximize your profits.
Opening A Store
If you want to run a retail store you can of course head over to Magnolia Promenade. This new world, that comes with the Get To Work expansion pack, contains three pre-built retail stores as well as an empty lot. However, these stores are expensive and one of the joys of retail is that you can start from virtually nothing.
All you need to open a shop is a plot set to retail, a cash register, and something to sell. You can of course buy a home and then a retail store but one of the easiest ways to start out is buying a home plot then building your starter home on your retail plot. This means you can open and close your store at will without having to keep traveling. Once your store expands you can always use the gallery to move your home back onto its original plot.
To purchase a retail plot make sure you’ve adjusted the plot type beforehand and then press the cash register icon in the bottom right of the screen. This will allow you to purchase the plot and then opens a tab you can use to adjust retail options.
Work From Your Garden
Once you have purchased your store you just need to set some items for sale, open it, and customers will begin to appear. This store above was created by placing a cash register and display shelf in a pagoda in a starter home garden. As you can see customers will still visit and you can make sales.
You can sell almost anything from the build and buy catalog, enabling you to tailor your store. Customers will buy whatever is set for sale, as long as you can convince them to do so.
To start out small items worth quite a lot are a good choice, as long as you’ve got the simoleons to purchase the stock. This is because profit is based on a percentage of the sale price.
Making Those Sales
Talking to customers is the best way to start making sales. This is the biggest driver of profit as customers will rarely just appear and purchase items, at least not until you have a far nicer store.
You’ll see options to discuss price range, answer questions, and talk about preferences with customers once they arrive. If you check the dialogue window at the top you can also see if they are showing an interest in a product. These prompts can help you steer the conversation towards a sale.
When a customer is ready to purchase they will have a blue simoleon icon above their head. You can then click this to ring up the sale. The item will disappear and you’ll gain the money. For some reason, your Sim will rarely use the cash register and will instead ring up items on an iPad.
You can keep selling for as long as you like but remember to close the store when you need to attend to your Sims needs to prevent irate customers.
Once the day is over you’ll get a report of your sales for the day and can see how much you’ve made. If you have staff, the cost of this will also appear in your summary.
Hiring staff is best avoided until you have a store big and busy enough that you cannot handle it alone. Once you do hire them you’ll need to keep their hours reasonable, their mood high and train them where you can.
Retail is an area where you can grow quite quickly and the more you can invest the quicker you can start making larger profits.
The store above is selling electronics due to their small size and high price. Every item will sell for a specific amount above its retail price. Your margins start at 25% and you can increase these to 100%, meaning you double your investment. As such the more expensive items you can sell and the higher the margin, the quicker you’ll make more money.
However, the higher the margin the harder items are to sell so it’s best to keep it at 25% – 50% until you have a more established store. The items above were set to 50% and it still proved quite difficult to shift them from the pagoda store. This is because your store’s appearance does also matter.
While you can start off in your garden, long term that isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to build a dedicated store in order to increase your curb appeal.
Your curb appeal rating isn’t visible anywhere but is basically a hidden score based on how appealing your store is. If you’ve ever played with Vet Clinics in Cats & Dogs, or Restaurants in Dine Out, the criteria are basically the same.
A building is the first thing you need. After that flooring, wallpaper, lighting, windows, and space all increase appeal. Space allowing customers to freely walk and browse will help you to make sales with less effort. You can also add decor items inside and out to further boost the store’s rating. The more appealing your store is, the more customers will appear without having to use any perks to increase footfall.
As you make sales you’ll earn perk points which can be spent in the retail perks menu. These are like satisfaction points but retail-specific. The perks aren’t as good as they could be but will allow you to restock items cheaper and increase your footfall.
Some are one-time purchases and others can be purchased again and again, allowing you to use your points to save money and increase sales, making this a limited but worthwhile feature.
Theming Your Store
While there are no major limits on what you can sell, theming your store can help increase the curb appeal. The stores that come prebuilt with the pack are themed but you can do it yourself.
Create a clothing store, sell furniture, run an electronics superstore, and more. You can also use the baking skill that comes with the pack to create a bakery or the photography skill to make a gallery.
Most other DLC packs will combine well with Get To Work’s retail store mechanics, meaning you can sell almost anything this way. There are other ways to sell goods, including market stalls available in City Living, Jungle Adventure, and Eco Lifestyle, as well as the Plopsy feature that came with Nifty Knitting. However, if you want to own an actual store Get To Work will allow you to sell items purchased or produced using other packs.
If you want to sell handmade clothing, fizzy drinks, or fabricated furniture then you can. Very few items are exempt from being marked for sale. Virtually anything you can purchase or create using the in-game skills can be sold in a retail store, allowing for a huge amount of possibilities.
It’s this flexibility combined with the low start-up costs that mean running a retail store is a great and profitable way to venture into owning your own business.
Next: The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs: Guide To Running A Successful Vet Clinic
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Helen began playing games at an early age with her first computer being a hand-me-down Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It didn’t put her off… She is all grown up now but is still a gamer at heart, especially when it comes to The Sims and other strategy and simulation games.
She juggles the daily demands of life with a family and somehow still finds the time to indulge her two passions in life, writing and gaming; sometimes both at the same time.
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