This page offers information on how to unlock and upgrade the Nook’s Cranny shop.
Building a Shop!
After you have had your house upgraded, when you next visit Resident Services, you will walk in on Timmy and Tom Nook discussing plans for a shop on the island! When you next speak to Timmy he will ask for your help in bringing these plans to fruition.
To build a shop, Timmy needs a lot of materials. He has asked you to collect 30 pieces of each type of wood and 30 iron nuggets too!
Once you have all of the materials, head to Resident Services and speak to Timmy. Select the About Building a Shop option and you can donate all of the materials he requires in one go! Each building material you complete, Timmy will give you a random gift.
When you have donated all materials, Timmy will ask you to find a spot for the new shop! Like when you pitched tents for the island residents, you’ll be given a construction kit to choose a location for the shop. The shop fits a 7x4 grid so will need a bit of space to plot.
After you’ve picked a spot for the shop, return to Timmy once more to tell him the good news. You will need to wait till tomo
The shop upgrade isn’t as clear as it has been in previous games. For one, the shop upgrade in New Horizons doesn’t 100% rely on player’s actions. In Wild World spending definitive amounts of bells would upgrade the shops, but this isn’t entirely true of New Horizons’ Nook’s Cranny. However, there does seem to be some requirements that need to be fulfilled before the shop can upgrade. Right now, there is only one expansion for Nook’s Cranny, unlike in previous games where there has been numerous upgrades.
You must have at least 29 active days on your island - This doesn’t mean that you’re 100% guaranteed to get a shop upgrade on the 29th active day, but it means that after this point there is a chance for an expansion.
Spend Lots of Money - The exact amount you need to spend is unclear, but you need to at least spend 200,000 Bells to help trigger an upgrade.
Upgrade Resident Services - Resident Services must be upgraded before Nook’s Cranny will expand.
Donated 30 Specimens to the Museum - This is another requirement that is speculated by players to have an impact on the shop expansion.
Whilst the requirements aren’t entirely clear, you should essentially get the expansion within the first 4-6 weeks or so of playing the game if you’re just going about your time donating creatures and buying items to decorate your home!