Chapter 15 was mainly about business management and how the alternative characters can take control of them. This one is on one of the three – the shop. Since there are already too many shops, this one will be called the Custom Shop by default.
Starting a new shop
The first thing the mayor has to do is to build a shop anywhere that isn’t claimed. Unlike most PWPs, this one can be placed over water, but it depends on where you place it. A wharf can be built over the sea, but not from a high sea cliff. If you choose to build a wharf, you’ll have to pay extra. But if you don’t, there will be less land to do your landscaping.
When the plot for a new shop is placed and when a new character is created (recently or awhile ago), the secondary character can claim the shop as his/hers. If someone else took the shop (it has to be a human), then it cannot be claimed.
After claiming, you will be given a 600,000 Bell debt from Tom Nook, who is not just in charge of house renovations, but business renovations too. Unlike house renovations, he will ask in advance. When you get 600,000 Bells paid, your shop will be built, and you can get ready to work on it.
Designing your shop
When you step into your shop for the first time, you would realize that the shop is empty. The good news is that it’s 12×8 spaces, which is a lot of space. The bad news, it could not be expanded any further. The worst news, you have no funds. Without funds, you can’t decorate your shop. So the first step is to make more Bells and import them to your store’s funds.
Items available for your shop:
- Display rugs (small)
- Display rugs (large)
- Display stands
- Store shelves
- House plants
- Cash registers
- Decorative ornaments (such as LED Display, World Map etc)
When you work on decorating the outdoors, you have many different options for the rooftops, doors, windows, walls, and outdoor scenery, which are the same as the other two. As for models, all of them look like proper shop models like seen in Happy Home Designer.
Managing your shop
The design part is fun just to make your shop look neat, but the management part is more important. Just like every attraction, you need to look at the profits, staff, and hours of operation. However, the uniqueness of the store is that you can stock items and price them. Every item display piece can only display certain items based on size. You’ll also need to focus on supply & demand, item groups, and pricing.
You are free to put any item up for sale as you wish, but there are a couple of restrictions. Whatever’s not supplied cannot be sold. Also, the display stands and display rugs can display certain items.
- Large rugs (2×2) – can only display furniture and items that takes up at least two spaces, whether if it’s a full 2×2 square or just one 2×1 rectangle.
- Small rugs (1×1) – can only display furniture and items that takes up only one space, whether it can be placed on a table or not.
- Display stands – can display any clothing item available, as well as carpets and wallpaper supplied for your store.
- Store shelves – can sell items such as smaller toys, groceries, and anything else that humans cannot buy.
When you’re designing a shop, make sure you have at least a few small rugs, a few large rugs, and a few display stands in case if you’re interested into selling full furniture series.
In addition, your store can only sell 360 different items (not including store shelf items). Also, they cannot be from the same item class. If they are, then the maximum amount you can sell is 120.
- Class 1 – large furniture
- Class 2 – small furniture and items
- Class 3 – clothes, carpets, and wallpaper
In regards to the shelves, you have to choose between commodities (groceries, toys & games, decorations, arts & crafts, and books). Each of the commodities can be broken down into further accessories.
Pricing and Demand:
As you choose which items are to be sold, you can also determine the price of each item. Keep in mind that each time an item is stocked, Bells are spent to keep the item in stock. Every day, the stock in the store randomly changes as long as the items you have in selection are the items that change.
There are three different prices to look at on each furniture piece. Those are the base price, the stock price, and the critical price.
- Base price – the price that the item costs if bought from the Nooklings.
- Stock price – the cost for stocking the item. The stock price is always half the base price.
- Critical price – the maximum price that animals would buy it. If it exceeds the price, it will not be sold unless if bought by another human character.
The critical price reflects upon the demand based on what the animal wants. For instance, if they want it really badly, they wouldn’t mind spending a lot of Bells on it, but there’s still a cap price to it. Another example is that they wouldn’t mind buying something, but is not willingly to buy it for any price higher than the stock price.
There are six types of demands:
- Very High – critical price is 4x the base price.
- High – critical price is 2x the base price.
- Medium – critical price is the base price.
- Low – critical price is above the stock price, but equally below the base price.
- Very Low – critical price is at the stock price.
- Off – animals are unwillingly to buy it at any price.
The demand is based on animal personality, the birthday of the animal, and how neutral the item/theme is. There are some items that any animal would buy, but the critical price is always at the base of those items. Another hint to look out for is that animals that have both the opposite astrological sign and opposite personality (Lazy/Snooty, Normal/Cranky, Smug/Peppy, Uchi/Jock) have the exact opposite demand. Items that Cranky villagers under the sign of Capricorn would never buy are the items that Normal villagers under the sign of Cancer would spend four times the price. Whatever Peppy villagers under the sign of Aires would spend twice the price of are what Smug villagers under the sign of Libra would spend half the price of.
Possible items to stock:
In the display stands and rugs, your store can sell anything, as long as it’s supplied for your town. Items not supplied for your town can still be obtained anywhere in town, but not sold at your shop.
Here’s what you can supply in your store:
- Anything not on your catalog or your mayor’s catalog.
- Anything that Timmy and Tommy normally sells that you never seen at their stores.
- Anything you can get from Saharah, Gulliver, or a villager.
- Anything you can get from the Ables’ Stores and Nooklings that are already on your catalog (obviously).
But no store, regardless of town, could supply any of these:
- Anything you can get from GracieGrace.
- Anything you can get from the Island store, Museum, or events.
- Seasonal items (either from Timmy and Tommy or from nature like the Bingo Snowman and balloons).
- Prizes from the Café, Post Office, HHA, or Katie.
- Commercial furniture, wall items, ceiling items, gyroids, and clothes than animals don’t wear.
- Stationary and Music.
In regards to item supply, the items supplied for your town’s custom store depends on biome and grass pattern. Some items will always be supplied for your town no matter what the case is.
Aside to the classes based on display piece, you can break items down into different item groups. In each class, there are many items supplied, even if there aren’t as much per town, but you can only pick 120 of them or less. Therefore, the maximum your store can sell is 360 items.
You do want to have more than 20 items per class. If you do have a limited variety of items, animals will think your store is bland as they would be less likely to buy from your store.
When it comes to breaking down into groups, you can decide what items belong to each group. Every group must have the same amount of items from every class. In addition, if you plan to sell one themed item, you’ll have to sell the whole theme (minus wall items). However, you can split a certain theme into groups. Take for example, you’re selling the Cabin Series. You can put all of the smaller items into one group, the larger items into another group, and the carpet and wallpaper in the third group. Or you can integrate an entire series into one group.
If you choose to divide your inventory into groups, you can decide what days sell certain items based on group. You can have only up to four groups. Choosing when each group of items can be sold can be done through calendar. You can decide on month, day of the week, or weeks in general. So when the day comes, items not assigned to the spotlight group of the day will never show up in stock.
General Management Principles:
Like every attraction, you have to decide on the names, the staff, and the hours of operation. Just to repeat what I said in Chapter 15, your shop has to be open from 6 to 18 hours, villagers you hire for staff will never move out of town until fired, and once a staff member is fired, you can re-hire them unlike in reality.
In terms of staff management, all you’ll need to hire is a cashier. The cashier will work every day. However, the maximum amount of hours he/she will work is 9 hours. In addition, it shouldn’t hinder with their sleep schedule as set by the mayor. In case if your shop is open longer, you will have to hire a second cashier, as they have their own shifts. All worker hours from one employee have to be consecutive within one day, so if you keep your business open for 10 hours or longer, you’ll be forced to have two employees, where one works on the first half while the other takes the second half.
The wage set for each animal is 100 Bells per hour. So if you kept your store open for 18 hours, you will be charged 12,600 Bells per week. The current funds will stay the same, but once a new month begins, you will begin losing money for the wages.
- (+) Bells made when items are sold
- (-) Bells spent to restock
- (-) Bells spent on worker wages
- (-) General costs
While the owner can’t buy from the shop, other players can visit the shop, buy from there like they can from the other stores, and chat with any shopper there. This is true, even if it’s another custom shop owner from another town.