The Sims open shop

EA has released the first stock of shots from its latest Sims 2 expansion pack, Open for Business.

This latest bundle of virtual lifestyles and paraphernalia for its super popular life simulator series will give players the chance to create and run their own businesses, offering an abundance of retail opportunities.

Shopkeepers can fill their shelves with a diverse selection of goods, including clothes, toys, flowers, food and - that perennial high street essential - robots.

Entrepreneurial puppet masters will be able develop their Sim's sales skills to help keep their tills stuffed with precious simoleons or can employ the talents of master-skilled Sims to create the most desirable goods in town.

And with over 125 new items to play with - including staff uniforms, display cases and a toy workbench - budding Al Fayed's can build their emporiums however they choose, with store themes, layout and prices all fully customisable.

Of course, as 'the dude in the chair', players will also be responsible for the hiring, firing and shameless exploitation of employees.

The Sims 2 Open for Business will be released for PC. A release date is still to be announced