Ultimate Guide to Running a Retail Store

Do you know all about the retail store in Sims 4
Ultimate Guide to Running a Retail Store
Authored by : Jess
Last updated on 02 February, 2024

The Sims 4 expansion pack Sims 4 Get to Work introduced multiple new gameplay elements one of which included the ability for sims to run their own retail stores. You can sell almost anything under the sun, whether you made it or purchased it straight from the buy menu, and create a successful business.

This article will go over everything you need to know concerning retail stores, from the start up costs to selling your store. I will go over tips to increase your customer traffic and profits and how to grow your employees skill base.

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Sims 4 Get to Work

Sims 4 Get to Work was the first expansion pack released for the Sims 4. The pack allowed your sim to take on new types of jobs, known as professions that allows you to go to work with your sims. These professions included three new careers: Detective, Doctor, and Scientist. These careers lead your sims to unlocking many different unique objects, for example the Scientist career requires your sim to have multiple breakthroughs and discover new inventions.

The pack also allows your sims to own and run their own retail businesses. The pack includes a multitude of retail items to help your sim sell various items in the game, including mannequins, coolers, baker's racks, display shelves, and much more. You can purchase a lot, build up your store and your inventory, and create a successful business.

Sims 4 Get to Work introduced the baking skill. With this skill your sim can open up their own bakery and sell excellent quality baked goods. If you are interested in opening a bakery you can learn everything your sim will need and what is required to run a successful bakery in my guide to running a bakery.

Sims 4 Get to Work also introduced the photography skill, I wrote a guide so you can learn how to master the skill and how you can display your photos or get a great family portrait.

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Can you start a business from your sim's home?

Unlike the good ole days in the Sims 2 you cannot run an official business in your sim's home. There are multiple ways for your sims to make money at home, but you cannot own and operate a business where sims come and interact with your business at your house.

Some ways you can earn money at home include, painting, writing, knitting, gardening, etc. With the exception of writing where you publish books and get royalties, much like many authors in real life (minus book signs and book tours), your sim earns money from selling these items what seems like to no one at all.

For instance, with paintings you can sell your paintings to a collector. In this interaction you'll see your sim make an arm gesture toward the painting and the painting will slowly disappear and simoleons appear into your household account in turn.

If you want to run something similar to a business you can purchase a yard sale table and hold a yard sale to mark up certain items. One limitation you run into however is that unlike an actual retail store you are limited in the items you can sell.

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How to purchase a retail lot?

To start a business you will first need to purchase a retail lot. You can purchase a retail lot using your phone, computer, or the owned businesses button (the small cash register next to your Sim's needs). Once you purchase a retail lot you will need to transfer funds from your household into your retail lot.

Sims 4 purchase a lot

You can build almost any type of retail store you desire, I've done store where I sell only painting and even a beach side shack where I sell all the items my mermaid sim found in Island Living.

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How much does it cost to start a retail store?

The price to start a retail store can vary greatly, it will mainly depend on how you want to direct the gameplay. If you are doing a rags to riches type of gameplay where you are not using any type of money cheats purchasing a retail lot and getting the basic requirements is not that expensive.

When you go to buy a retail lot, you can choose any open lot available in any world. The cheapest lots are the 20x15 lot options in NewCrest which cost $1,500. Once you purchase your lot, you are required to purchase a cash register for $50 to get started. The cash register does require you to place it on a surface, and you can't use the bb.moveobjects on cheat in order to place it on the ground. You must buy a counter top or I suggest purchasing the Homely Retail Counter-Used for $75 it is cheaper than any counter top available.

You can learn more about the bb.moveobjects cheat and moving objects in general in my ultimate guide to moving objects.

Once you have the lot and the cash register the cost is up to you. You can boot strap your sim's business by only selling things they find for free and then as you start getting more and more revenue you can start building a new store for your sim. You can also transfer thousands of simoleons and have your sim start with an amazing set up from the get go.

There is also the option to buy one of the three already established businesses in Magnolia Promenade, the world that comes with Sims 4 Get to Work. The builds that come with the pack are quite costly and range from $71,170 to $124,905 (furnished price). These builds come with all the required items to run a successful business.

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What is Curb Appeal?

When you are building your store, you will want to keep the curb appeal in mind. The better your curb appeal the more customers will come to your store. You can increase your curb appeal buy using retail signs. The more signs you have the more your curb appeal goes up. There are a few neon sign options and if your sim has the handiness skill, they can even upgrade them to include new animations or make them break less often.

Sims 4 curb appeal

Curb appeal can also be increased by decorating the store, if you have nice décor in your store sims will be more likely to come. If your sim walks into the room and gets the "well decorated" moodlet, then you likely have high curb appeal from decorating.

Lastly, for temporary boost in your curb appeal you can purchase advertising packages through the cash register. You have two options, either web or tv advertising. These packages come in either short term or long term packages and vary in cost. These will give you a boost in traffic but it will only be a temporary boost.

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How do Mannequins work?

If you want to sell clothes you will need some mannequins. You can have up to 10 mannequins total on your lot, you can choose from adult and child size mannequins. When you first purchase the mannequins they will not included any outfit on them.

You can choose from 30 different outfits to dress your mannequins in. Once you dress your mannequins sims can come in and try on the clothes and decide whether they want to purchase the outfit or not.

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What items can you sell?

Unlike the sales tables I discussed above, you can sell almost anything you want in a retail lot. Aside from walls and the cash register you can even sell the lights that you have hung from the ceiling and the toilets in the bathroom.

To sell an item in a retail lot you will click on the item you wish to sell while in live mode and an option will appear to "set for sale." If you are not sure if you can sell a certain item click on it in live mode, if the "set for sale" option does not appear then that item is not eligible to be sold in a retail lot.

Once an item is purchased a small "out of stock" sign will appear and you can "restock" for the cost of the original item. To restock you will click on the small sign and choose "restock item." Do be aware, that if you are very busy, restocking takes quite some time so avoid restocking at busy times because you might lose a sale.

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Opening for business

Once you have a lot and a cash register and a few items to set for sale you are ready to open for business. Before you open your store you will first want to set your markup, by default the price markup is set at 25%. I always suggest starting at a higher markup, it will take you much less time to start making significant profit. I usually start out at 50% from the beginning, it does take a little bit more convincing to make a sale but it is worth it.

To open your store you can click on the cash register and select "Open Store" or you can click on "Open" in the Owned Businesses tab at the bottom left of your screen. Once you open for business sims will start to spawn and come to look at what you have for sale at your store.

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How to sell to customers

To sell to a customer you will need to fill a small blue bar, known as the purchase bar, that appears above their head. You will need to sell the sim on whatever items you have listed for sale. You will have new interactions you can use to help sell sims on your products. When a customer for comes into the store, it is always a good idea to click on that sim and select "Greet Customer."

Once you have greeted a customer you can choose from more interaction to help seal the deal. You will see that a new "Retail" section of your sims discuss options appears. Within the retail section you can choose to "answer questions," "discuss shopping preferences," or "ask about price range." As you continue in the discussion and are having success with your sales pitch, more interaction options will appear.

Sims 4 customer selling

Once a sim is ready to buy you will see a small cash register button appear above their head. This indicates that they are ready to check out. Similar to restocking, checking out is a long process so be mindful of how long you take witch check outs. If you are too slow to ring a customer up they will give up and leave.

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Hiring and managing employees

Once your business starts to gain some traction, you will want to look into hiring employees to help ease the work load. To hire an employee you can click on the cash register and choose "Manage Employees" or you can choose "Manage Employees" from the owned business tabs at the bottom of the screen.

When you first start you have the option to hire one employee. You will see multiple sims available to hire they have three skills that you will want to take into consideration: Sales, Maintenance, and Work Ethic. Depending on what you need at the time you are looking to hire you will want to focus on these skills. An employee who has a high Sales skill will be better at interacting with customers and ringing up customers quickly. An employee with a high maintenance skill will restock and clean the store well. An employee with a high work ethic skill is less likely to slack off.

As your employees work their skills will improve over time, you want to make sure you keep your employees happy by not working them more than 8 hours at a time, and making sure you give them raises over time. You can also encourage skill growth by praising your employees when they do a good job. You don't want to raise their skills just for them to go and quit and then you are forced to start over with a new entry level employee.

You can assign your employees a variety of tasks such as Answer Customers' Questions, Ring Up Customers, Clean the Store, and Restock Sold Items. You will want to watch your employees as they work because they can tend to slack off. If you find them slacking off you can choose the "Berate for Slacking" interaction to get them back to work. Berating employees for slacking will increase their work ethic skill and you won't have to watch them so often in the future.

You can also either click on the employee and choose Manage Sim or the cash register to Manage employees and choose to promote, demote, fire, or give raises to your employees.

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Business perks

As you continue to operate your store you will be rewarded with Perk Points that you can use to unlock a variety of rewards. Some rewards help your sell to sims much better, lower your restocking costs, and much more. Below is a list of all the retail perks and the effects of each.

Retail PerkEffectPerk Points
Placard: My First SimoleonUnlock a decorative wall object to celebrate your success. This wall object will help increase your store's curb appeal.50
Provocative PedestalUnlock a new pedestal to display items. Will help increase your store's curb appeal.100
Stunning SignA new sign to place in your store that will increase your curb appeal and attract more customers.150
Snazzy ShirtUnlock additional shirt for both your male and female employees.200
Register of TomorrowA new modern looking cash register designed with upscale stores in mind. Will help increase your store's curb appeal.250
Superfluous SurplusRestocking items is cheaper for the next 12 hours!300
Additional Employee #1Unlock an additional employee. Now allows you to have 2 employees total.350
Faster Restocking (small)Slightly reduces the time it takes to restock items. (Affects household members not employees)400
Faster Checkouts (small)Slightly reduces the time it takes to ring up customers. (Affects household members not employees)450
Placard: Fobbs 500Unlocks a new wall object to show off your store's success. Will help increase your store's curb appeal.500
Curious ShopperShoppers will stick around and browse longer before deciding to leave your store.1,000
Mega ManagerManagement interactions with your employees have a higher chance of success.1,100
Additional Employee #2Unlock another additional employee. Now for a total and maximum number of 3 employees.1,200
Serious ShopperCustomers will have a greater desire to purchase items when they first arrive at your store.1,300
Faster Checkouts (large)A larger decrease in the time it takes to ring out customers. (Affects household members not employees)1,400
Faster Restocking (large)A larger decrease in the time it takes to restock items. (Affects household members not employees)1,400
Sure SaleA new social interaction that will guarantee a sale. (Does take time to recharge this interaction right after use)2,000
Slick SalesmanRetail social interactions with customers have a higher chance of succeeding.2,100
Instant RestockingHousehold members can instantly restock items.2,200
Cheaper RestockingRestocking items now costs less and increases your profits.2,500
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How to sell your business?

If you are ready to move on from your business or start a new one you have the option to sell your retail lot. To sell your retail lot you can click on the cash register and choose "Sell Store." Unfortunately, unlike the real world where your business would sell for its perceived value based on a business valuation, you can only sell for what the lot and the building on the lot are worth.

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