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Animal Crossing New Horizons | Shops and how to Upgrade Them

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Co-Founder of Time Wasters. Favourites are Couch co-ops, games that can be made into drinking games, and anything open world. Grew up on Nintendo but I have been putting considerable time into the Playstation 4. Nintendo will always have my heart.
Animal Crossing New Horizons | How to Upgrade Shops

There are a number of shops to unlock in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Although they are somewhat inevitable it is nice know how to unlock them all and get your island to 5 stars as fast as possible

We’ve broken down all the building that you can have and what steps you need to complete in order to get them. 


  • Catch 5 Fish or bugs and give them to Tom Nook, He’ll ask you to place the tent for Blathers, the museum director.
  • Once open the temporary museum tent will allow you to give Blathers more donations. Give him 15 more items for the museum.
  • Wait for the full museum to open!
animal crossing museum at night

Nook’s Cranny:

  • Timmy and Tommy will require you to bring them supplies in order for them to open the store. (30 Wood, 30 Hardwood, 30 Softwood, 30 iron nuggets)
  • Choose the location for Nook’s cranny!

     This sounds easy but the reality is that you need both an Axe and a shovel to reach this goal. Even with those in hand you’ll likely have to travel to multiple mystery islands to find all the iron if you want to do it in a single day.

     Upgrading to the general store is a bit of an unknown so far. From what we can find it seem that a few things are/could be needed:

  • 30 days play after the opening of Nooks Cranny
  • Having reached the credits 
  • Having donated a certain amount of fossils, bugs and fish to the museum
  • Having spent a large amount of Bells
  • Having spent a large amount of Nook Miles

It’s unclear at this time which one (or more) of these items needs to be completed to open the full general store. Different players stated different amounts in these categories when they received the upgrade so it is tough to say with certainty what exactly is required. As long as you’re logging in and playing every day though you should likely reach all those milestones by day 30 anyhow. 

Able Sisters:

  • Once opening Nook’s Cranny you’ll see Mabel inside, talk with her.
  • Watch for her in the town square
  • Purchase items from her. Like lots of stuff when you see her. Might take a couple visits
  • During one appearance she’ll give you a Tailor shop kit to place
  • Pick a place and 
  • Wait
Animal Crossing Able sisters shop

Resident’s Services:

  • Talk to Tom after Nook’s Cranny has been built
  • Select a location for a bridge
  • Select locations for four housing plots
  • Craft all required furniture for these plots
  • Wait for residents to move in (you may need to invite people from mystery islands)
  • Once all new residents have moved in (one per day) construction on the upgraded Resident Services will begin.


  • Expand Resident Services building
  • Make the campsite construction kit
  • Place campsite

You can now invite animals who camp at your island to live there. You can also now talk to Tom and start buying and placing more plots for houses.

Residents services at night

Remaining Houses:

The remaining 7 houses that you can place on the island are unlocked after completing the Campsite. In order to build them you mush “purchase” land from Tom Nook. He’ll charge you 10,000 bells and in turn give you a plot that you can place down somewhere. It may seem like a lot of money but you do receive 1000 Nook Miles once a new resident moves in. You also are unable to reach a full 5 Stars until you’ve attained a full roster of animals on your island. 

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