The Sims 4 Get to Work: Retail Guide

Guide to Opening your Store & Basic Concepts

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Open for Business
This Guide will teach you to open your own small business in The Sims 4. The outside decorations help attract customers through 'curb appeal'.

The Sims 4's Get to Work Expansion Pack marks the return of the Open for Business style management of retail stores, which Simmers have missed since The Sims 2. Nearly anything in the game can be sold for a profit, and you've got a number of options to help you optimize how your business is run and rake in the Simoleans.

The Retail features work similarly no matter what type of items you want to sell, so this guide is relevant to anything from a variety store or bakery, to an art gallery or book store. Maxis and The Sims Studio decided to bring in the ability to dress mannequins and sell outfits, so even clothing shops are possible with the business system. Retail Perks and the ability to promote employees and designate their uniforms gives a lot of customization options for the player to make their dream business. Because this one runs the risk of being too long, I'm breaking it into three sections: first you'll find the basics for operating a business here, then we'll go into managing the store's employees, dealing with customers, and finally the Retail Perks you can purchase. With introductions out of the way, here's a guide to everything you need to know to run a successful business in The Sims 4 Get to Work!

Opening a Business

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Magnolia Promenade
Magnolia Promenade offers 3 pre-built businesses you can take over. You may also build on any empty lot or convert any lot to Retail.

You have multiple options for where to start your business. First is the new area of Magnolia Promenade where there are four lots to choose from. You can elect to take over one of the three pre-built lots for sale there, which are expensive but established businesses that you can manage. Most players will prefer to make their own from scratch on an empty lot. To do this, use your Sim's phone and go to the Career/Household tab, then select Buy a Retail Store. You will be taken to a world selection screen, from which you can browse lots to buy in any Neighborhood that you own. Any lot that doesn't have something else on it will automatically be flagged as Retail when purchased. If the lot you want isn't available, see below to make it possible. A small empty lot will cost you around $3,000, which is not much but hard on a newly-created Sim's budget given the need to construct the store. It's best to have some items and cash on hand from some other means of making money because you must invest at least a little money into the business, which we'll look at next.

Mark a Lot as Retail
If the lot you want to run your business on already has a house or store built on it, you can set it to retail to allow you to purchase it when selecting where to open your business. Do this by going to ESC > Manage Worlds > Click Lot > Change Lot Type > Retail. This will evict any households living there and let you then go through the above process to purchase the lot for your business.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: You may transfer funds to and from your business at any time.
Funds may be transferred to the business from Household funds and back again at any time.

Investing in the Business
When you first create your retail shop, you'll need to transfer some money from household funds. This acts as the business's bank account, allowing you to build, stock items, and cover employee salaries. Don't worry about putting too much into it, because as the business owner you are able to take money out of its account at any time. While your Sim is on the business lot, the cash value you see at the bottom will be the business funds - not your household's. If you're running out of cash for the store, there's a little button just to the left of the funds at the bottom that enables you to transfer money to and from the business. You can also click the cash register to do this, but why bother when the developers provided this handy little way of doing so.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Retail Store Window
The Retail Store Window lets you Manage your Business

The Retail Store Window
Look to the bottom right next to the needs button while on your Retail Lot, where you'll find the Retail Store menu. From there, you can do many of the things discussed below. You may manage employees and their uniforms, set the store's overall price markup, open/close the business, view financial reports, and purchase Retail Perks.

Designing the Business Lot
The only requirement for your business is a counter and cash register, which mainly seems to hold money as customers won't line up to check out but rather stand near the item they want to buy. You cannot place a cash register without a counter, found under Objects by Function > Retail Items. Once that is done, you can design your lot as you see fit. There are ample shelving options to suit your needs, from refrigerated cabinets for foods and display cases, pedestals for beautification to basic metal shelves that can hold several objects at once. Consider placing items that provide a flat environment score to the room where the majority of shopping will be done, as that may help you to make more sales. Your salesmen will have a better success rate with customers and the retail-oriented interactions if they're in the right mood. Go for flat environment for happy, and anything that raises confidence to help put them in that helpful mood. Buy signs for the outside of your shop to raise curb appeal and get more customers.

10 Million Views! My YouTube channel has grown a lot the last 6 months. I now have over 125 videos on Youtube and am nearing 100k subscribers. I'd like to invite people to check out my content and, if you like what I'm doing, subscribe!

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Curb Appeal
Outside signs create Curb Appeal, which attracts foot traffic to your Business

Business Management Concepts and Tips

Selling Goods
The design of your business lot doesn't matter much, but having a wide selection of objects seems to help. Having plenty of different things in the store gives customers more options, though no central theme is necessary. You can run a variety store with any random objects you want to sell. Books, clothes, and rotten fish? No problem! Certain things, like paintings, need to be placed inside your Sim's Household Inventory in order to be sold at the business. You can't otherwise access those crafted items that have been placed in the home. Anything you can sell will be replaced with restocking, even rare items and specific paintings. This isn't a way for you to duplicate those rares, just a realistic mechanic that lets you buy a new one to sell to the next customer.

In order to mark an item as For Sale, simply click it to instantly toggle the option. You can pause the game once everything is placed, then go through and mark everything intended for sale. It's easier if you click the cash register and select, 'Toggle For Sale Tag', as you will see each item for sale have the red tag and better know if you've missed something. Simply click this again to turn it off.

Selling Clothes
Buy Mannequins to sell clothing in your store. You can design the clothes yourself in Create-a-Sim, or have the game generate random outfits when you click a mannequin. You may change the mannequin's pose. Clothing comes in at about the same prices no matter what type it is, so in general having the maximum 10 mannequins on your lot with a variety of clothing types and genders is a good idea. You should probably flesh out your store with some extra objects to give customers more choices on things to buy. Only Sims of the appropriate age/gender can buy particular outfits, so this is important.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Operating a Bakery
Managing a Bakery is similar to all other shops. Either put food in your Sim's inventory from home or have an oven, counter, and fridge on site to help you stock the store. Restocking a Bakery or other food store is done without the need to cook to replace sold items, but it's easier to fill it out with the necessary equipment in the actual bakery.





Selling Food or Operating a Bakery
Making a bakery or selling any other type of food works similarly to other types of retail, except the need for refrigerated display cases to keep food fresh much longer. Once you create something, you may simply restock it at 80% of its sell cost (meaning higher quality means higher restocking fees). This means you don't have to keep cooking food, but you should! It's cheaper to cook a new high-quality dish than to wreck your profits by restocking a $650 serving of trout!

Because you can keep baking and selling in this way while avoiding restocking fees, operating a food store of any kind features one of the higher profit margins in the game. It just takes a bit more of your time. You can get some of this time back by skipping the usual refrigerated displays and utilizing the vending displays. With a vending display, a customer doesn't need to be rung up to make a purchase! They can buy it straight away, so you can have your employees cleaning and working customers while your main Sim cooks.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Cash Register
All that is required is a cash register. The rest is up to you!

Price Markup
Pricing relies on a simple system that makes sense - you control the store's overall markup rate by clicking the cash register or interface at bottom right. The default is 25%, meaning an object worth $100 would sell for $125, resulting in $25 profit. Restocking would cost you $100, and let you sell it again. Your array of markup options include:

  • Clearance - 5% Markup
  • Sale - 15% Markup
  • Normal - 25% Markup
  • Pricey - 50% Markup
  • Exorbitant - 100% Markup

The cheaper your products, the more likely customers are to buy them without any interaction. With exorbitant prices, you can expect to have to drive a hard sell on the customer and use many interactions to earn the money. Start with the default and tweak prices based on what you're able to handle. If you're only getting a few customers, you may raise prices a bit so that you can work them individually. Once you have employees, consider lowering them back to base so that more can happen autonomously. At that point, the only reason to raise them is if you've got a lot of Retail Perks or are missing a lot of sales.

Restocking
Restocking items is a necessity to running the shop. You will want to prioritize the higher value items, because another customer may be interested in purchasing it. Overall, one of each thing is plenty because of the ability to put that item back. It takes about 30 minutes to restock something. When multiple items need restocking, direct an employee to take care of that so your Sim can manage customers.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Losing a Sale
Losing a sale is not good, but sometimes it just can't be avoided.

The Customer - Pitching a Sale
Know that while some customers will buy something without you doing anything, others will only buy if you happen to successfully deploy the Retail social options on them. The blue bar above a customer's head indicates how likely they are to buy something when done shopping (more on this in the Customers section of the Guide). You can raise this bar faster by interacting with them. For running a store (as well as generally playing Sims 4) I recommend you go to your gameplay options and select, "Traditional Social Menu" so that Retail is always there when you first click a customer. The same is true for the Manage social options for employees and Assign Work Task. You want these options accessible with a click so that it's easy to use them multiple times rather than click three times for each interaction. When you are interacting with a customer, the order of socials doesn't seem to matter, but save the newer ones that appear as you woo the customer for when the blue bar is higher. Your Sim's Mood and Charisma may come into play for success rates here, and as you use the socials and get positive results you will eventually see the customer head toward an item and be ready to be rung up. You can then let an Employee handle them (or go for it yourself if it's a big item to ensure it's sold) and move on to the next customer. You will rack up Retail Perk points for performing these interactions, and it's a steady stream in between sales.

Once a customer has made a decision to buy, a shopping cart will appear over their head and you'll get a notification. This means they're ready to be rung up. The amount of time it takes them to give up seems to be about 45-60 Sim minutes, max. It will start blinking around 30 minutes, so if you have two that are ready at once and you're behind on this, take the one that is near the most expensive item to maximize your profits. If it's blinking really fast, choose the other as it will take your Sim a moment to initiate the interaction. You can't get them all. If you find yourself constantly overwhelmed, again I will say that you should consider raising prices by one notch or hiring more employees via Perk Points.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Displays
Plenty of display types are available. This is less than half the types of offerings in the Expansion Pack.

Things that Can't Be Sold
The Retail feature of Get to Work is so inclusive of player ideas that a list of things you can sell would be tiresome. It's better for people who are wondering about this that I focus on those things that cannot be sold, in order to rule them out. In short, you can't sell things that are purely decorative and can't be clicked. While you can sell things like lighting, because it can be clicked to bring up a menu, things like rugs, building elements like walls and doors, outdoor shrubbery, and trees can't be clicked. Surfaces can't be sold, because what would happen to those objects on them? If it's a decorative item that can't be admired or interacted with, you won't be able to sell it. If you can click it and get an interaction, your Sim can probably sell it. Things that exist solely in your Sim's inventory and cannot be placed in the game world, like garden shoots for grafting, also cannot be sold. The other 98% of things in the game? You can sell it, and make a tidy profit doing so.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Toggle for Sale Tag
'Toggle for Sale Tag' is useful to make sure you haven't missed flagging any of your wares for sale.

Employee Basics
From the Retail Store window or cash register, you can select Manage Employees. This lets you choose who to hire, promote to give a raise, and even fire if they just don't meet your expectations or are just plain slacking too much. If you're just starting a store, you should probably manage it yourself at first then bring in an employee once you know where you need help and have started to turn a profit. Employees start at $19/hour and may go up to $51/hour and more when promoted. They have three Skills related to Retail: Maintenance (how well they are at cleaning and restocking the store), Sales (pitching to customers), and Work Ethic (reduced odds of them slacking). They gain levels in these from performing related tasks, or as in the case of Work Ethic, being berated and praised, so don't worry if you hire someone with a weak point - work on it or keep that person working in other areas.

The Sims 4 Get to Work: Snazzy Shirt
The Snazzy Shirt can be unlocked for your employees' uniforms through Retail Perks

Employees hired during the workday will not show up. They appear on the next opening of the store. While they're at work, you can click them to Assign Work Task. This lets you choose between restocking, cleaning, interacting with customers to make sales, and ringing up customers. Employees will only work up to 9 hours, after which they will leave due to labor laws. They seem to grow dissatisfied if you keep them long too often, so plan to set an 8 hour work shift and, if you're going to run over, let that employee clock out early.

Knowing how satisfied they are is important. You can see this from the manage employees window. Satisfaction levels range from: Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Neutral, Unsatisfied, to Very Unsatisfied. If an Employee is Very Unsatisfied, the most likely culprit is they feel they are not being paid enough for their skills. Natural dissatisfaction will crop up as their Skills rise if they stay at the same pay grade. Give them a raise if you want to keep them. A highly skilled employee will not stand for $19/hour, and as they gain Skill you are going to get better results out of them anyway. You can, in theory, help make a super employee by building up their Skills and switching them from different roles, applying praise and occasionally berating them for slacking if necessary. Overall keep an eye on them while they work and assign tasks that need done - set one to restock for a time, others to talk to customers and take care of ringing them up yourself for the Perk Points. Employee Uniforms are not necessary, but may be helpful to you for managing to keep an eye on them. You'll probably want them to give your business some personality.

Selling the Business
You can sell your business at any time, should you tire of managing it or want to buy a new one on another lot. Know that Retail Perks go with it, but you will get the business' full face value - all money in its account and the value of all combined objects on the lot transferred to your household funds.

Open for Business!
With these basics down, you should be ready to Open your Business for the first time using the Retail Store menu or cash register. If you'd like to learn more detailed information on running your store day to day, managing employees, or Retail Perks, continue reading!

Other Get to Work Guides

Expansion Guide
Retail Guide
Retail: Customers and Sales
Retail: Employees and Managing
Retail Perks in Get to Work
Aliens
Baking Skill Guide
Photography Skill Guide
Detective Career
Doctor Career, Diseases and Diagnosing Patients
Scientist Career
Planet Sixam (Alien World)

How You Can Support The Site and Channel

If you like my sites and Youtube Channel, consider supporting me on Patreon to help me to continue. If you'd like to support my guides in another way you can use our Amazon link for your next purchase (if in the US). We also offer a paypal donate link so you can contribute directly.

Back to The Top


Check Out My Youtube Channel!

We now have a Youtube Channel with over 50 guides in video format to go along with the huge site I've already created. Check it out and consider subscribing if you like my style.


Add Comment

* Required information
2000

Comments (74)

Gravatar
New
hevensblessingssays...
Smile is there a cheat so you can have more than the 10 Mannequins on a lot? ide like to display more but cant due to fact can only have 10.Smile
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
Mannequins are treated like sims in the game so they count towards the 20 sim lot cap. I don't know of a specific mod for mannequins but there is a work around. Make a room with mannequins in it and save it to your library. Then download this room into your retail store build as many times as you can. I think this still works but I haven't actually done this for a while now.Smile I was able to get well over the cap using this exploit.
Gravatar
New
hevensblessingssays...
will give this a go. ty for the tip :)
Gravatar
Regular
Lizsays...
Hey Carl, how do I expand my choices in new employees? I even created Sims specifically TO be hired, and I can't choose from more than 6. Help please!
Thanks, for all these wonderful cheats, and TwistedMex. I use them daily.
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
There is no direct in-game way to do this but there is a work-around. This link takes you to a tutorial on the official Forums on how to hire your own made sims.
Gravatar
New
Tessa MacRunnelsays...
How do you ring a customer up? I can't figure out how!
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
When a sim is ready to be rung up there will be an icon above their head (see guide). Click on that sim and choose ring up.
Gravatar
Regular
Ashleysays...
Hi! Thank you Carl for making all these guides! I just got GTW for Christmas and I had no idea how to play it. So thanks again! Laugh
Gravatar
New
KittycatYAYsays...
Dear Carl, I have 2 empoyees for my shop, Camron Slone and Staci Pappas, 2 NPCs) but when I open the shop only Camron Slone comes to work, Staci Pappas appearing, but only as a customer. I tried to fire her and hire her back, but she still woudn't come to work. I don't know if there is a problem with the game or with the NPC! Can you please help me?
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
Probably the best thing to do is go into Mange Households and delete Staci Pappas. There are quite a few glitches around retail businesses. Firing sims in general doesn't really seem to work as they appear back the next day or then keep not appearing when you re-hire them. So delete the NPC and try hiring someone completely different. That should fix the issue.
Also delete the localthumbcache.package file from your TheSims4 folder to help clear out any glitches. Smile
Gravatar
New
Charlottesays...
What about coffee shops? Is it possible to make one of those?
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
Not really although simmers have made books shops with a cafe in them using the in-game cafe game play. Your sim will get the money from the sales of the books. The trouble is that multi-purpose lots are not possible currently in TS4 so lots have to be one thing or the other.
Gravatar
New
shellktaysays...
I have selected own a business, bought a lot, changed the lot type from retail to a bar and built my own 3 story night club. I looks great but even though I have hired staff and tendered the bar, It does not make any money??? please help.
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
There is no real way to make money from mixology/nightclubs. The expansion is focused on making money from retail. So building shops and so on using the retail lot tag.
Gravatar
New
ValhallaVixensays...
I created a restaurant. How do I give my employees a break? They keep asking for breaks.
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
You close the restaurant. There is no way of actually 'giving them a break'. The staff will eventually become very dissatisfied and quit if you keep your restaurant open for longer then 6-8 hours each day.
Gravatar
New
Palesays...
I can't open my store because I don't have enough funds??? Is there any way to fix this? I've already built a 'house' behind my business if that helps.
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
I'd just use the money x cheat.
Guide to Cheats
Gravatar
Regular
Tarasays...
Thank you for the helpful tips, I always come back to check answers for my questions. but here's one that I cannot figure out. I bought the vending machine but I do not know how to stock it with food. customers end up buying the machine itself! I have the same issue with the warm racks, people just take the food out and eat it.. I'm confused, please help!
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
The vending machine can not be stocked, so it is probably best to not have that in your store. The warming racks are different though and you should be able to click on the items and set them for sale. Try setting the items on the top first as they are easier to click on and see if that helps.
Gravatar
Regular
Nicolesays...
I'm sorry but none of this is helpful not even in the slightest bit I was looking for cheat for the actual business perks points........I need a cheat for that
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
Then you'll need to look on the cheats guide page.
Guide to Cheats You'll find the perks cheats under the heading: Unlock Retail Perks
Gravatar
New
Jollysays...
I already installed the gtw expansion but there is no retail option in the career/household? What should I do? Sad
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
Buy a lot and change the lot type to retail. This will bring up all the various options the expansion pack offers. There should be an icon in the right hand lower player UI though where you can access these from there.
If you do not have the option to change a lot type to 'Retail' then it would sound like the dlc has not been installed. So quit out your game and go into your Origin library. Click once on The Sims 4. Click on the 'Extra Content' button (it's next to the Friends Who Play button). This will show you all the dlc you have installed or own etc. So you will be able to check that it is installed correctly.
If it is installed, delete the localthumbcache.package file from your The Sims 4 folder, start up a new game and hopefully everything should be working for you.
If it is still not try logging out and back in to origin or uninstalling/reinstalling Origin
How to Uninstall/Reinstall Origin Client
Gravatar
New
Jollysays...
Thank you! It was really helpful
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
You're welcome! Happy simming Smile
Gravatar
New
Eddysays...
Best food to sell at retails is cupcakes made from Cupcake Factory. At level 8 Cooking, you can create cupcakes that sells 500-800 Simoleons each. I can get almost 6k profit per day with this. And they're much faster to make than food made from stoves.
Gravatar
New
NotTellingWhoIAmsays...
Thank you so much Carl for your help! It helped me alot because I am trying to pick a pack but I just can't! Now I know more about this! Thanks again!
Gravatar
Regular
Lizsays...
if i put clothing and other items from the packs i purchased in my store to sell can all my customers purchase it or no? or do i need to sell items from the base game?
Gravatar
Senior
Playalotsays...
All sims content works with all expansions. So any items you put in a retail shop from any expansion, game pack or stuff pack will work and be able to be bought and sold. Including Base Game items of course.
Gravatar
New
Harrisonsays...
it's sad you can't do this on Xbox one.I play the sims 4 on my my xbox.
Gravatar
Regular
catsays...
So, what happens to the items that we sell? If I sell a painting to an NPC Sim, does that go into the household inventory of the buyer and go on the wall of their house? If not, this sounds like a scam ... getting me to work in retail.
Gravatar
Admin
Playlotsays...
It would be lovely to have this kind of detail in the game but no, the items are basically deleted from the game as the NPC sim who bought it places it in their inventory. All NPC sims inventories are kept empty apart from the ones who work the sellers tables in San Myshuno and those are purged eventually too.
Gravatar
New
Alanasays...
Is Selling fruits/veggies possible? I had so many vegetables for sale with Sims 2. I have a stock of them in the inventory, I've put them on shelves, counters, tables, displays, but "set for sale" never comes up as an option.
Gravatar
Admin
Playlotsays...
You can use the Lice Cold Retail Freezer and stock it and set the prices. Sims will buy from it. This item is a bit glitchy though and although it has been repaired by the devs it keeps breaking after updates etc!

If you have City Living you can also sell harvestables (one by one ) on the street market table (Come and Get It Street Store). It's not super successful though but does work.
Gravatar
New
christina hansensays...
When I want to open my store when I am not there it says that I need some sort som store manager. But how do I get that? Is there anything I need to do first?
Gravatar
Admin
Playlotsays...
Sadly retail lots can not be opened unless your played sim is actively on the lot. The message means your sim needs to be there to manage the store.
Gravatar
New
Kylie Hurstsays...
I really want to own my own business but I’m not sure what expansion pack that is or if I can own a business in the city living pack? I just bought this game and I love it I’m just trying to figure out what I can and can’t do.
Gravatar
Admin
Playlotsays...
Get To Work adds the ability to run Retail Lots which can be placed/built in any world as long as it is not an apartment lot.
Gravatar
New
nataliasays...
Hey so this guide really helped me but when I closed my store and sold some items, I didn't know how to get the money I had made.
Gravatar
Admin
Playlotsays...
Great that you found it helpful! Smile
Gravatar
New
hedgehog1024says...
Thanks for the great guides--you have been so much help! My question--if my Sim owns a retail business and she dies, does the business go to her next of kin, like the stuff in her inventory does? Thanks
Gravatar
Admin
Playlotsays...
As long as there is another sim living in the same household at the time of death it will be fine. Retail businesses and restaurants etc are owned by the household not an individual sim.
Gravatar
New
Eva del Mar Pérez Fernándezsays...
Your post is very helpful!
I sold my business by accident and now I want to buy it back but I don't know how. Thank you for everything.
Gravatar
Admin
Playlotsays...
The cashier icon on the screen bottom right>click and choose>Buy A Retail Store. Travel to lot and then purchase the retail shop. The lot will be physically the same as you left it only it will basically be a brand new business. To get your game back exactly to how it was before accidentally selling the retail lot you would have to roll back to a previous save.
This link has information on save files and how they work: Save files info
Gravatar
New
Mrs. Jeonsays...
The guide mentions a "vending display", but I see nothing of the sort in the game. Also, I've noticed someone else mention the vending machine and say that it can't be stocked. Is there or is there not a vending display that came be used?
Gravatar
Admin
Playalotsays...
There are various vending displays in this pack:
Lice Cold Retail Freezer
Cat Loves Food Inc Professional Grade Warming Rack
Frigidare Refrigerated Display
Baker's Cousin Display Case


Search my Sims 4 Site

Support Us

Readers who use adblock or those who'd like to thank me for my efforts can now pledge $1/$5 monthly via Patreon. This helps a lot with server costs and provides some stability for my business.

Super Sim Checklist + Other News

Super Sim Text + Checklist and Video Guide! Here is my Super Sim Challenge Guide and Checklist to accompany my video guide to making Super Sims in The Sims 4 that you can view on Youtube.

This is inspired by a new series in which I start at toddler and gradually take on the major bonuses. Here's a link to the full playlist!

I now have a guide page to Tiny Living Stuff where you can learn about Murphy Beds, the new death, as well as the lot bonuses you'll receive if you manage to keep the size of your lot down with this new pack's Tiny Home Lot Type.

Let's Play Playlist

Super Sim Gameplay in The Sims 4

New I now have a guide to Making Super Sims in The Sims 4. Look for a text version within the next 72h. It won't have THAT much more info but it will help out as a checklist.

This was inspired by a series, "Let's Play a Super Sim" in which I start at toddler and gradually take on the major bonuses. Here's a link to each part for people who are interested. You can also see the Let's Play as a Playlist on Youtube.