Some of the world's most prestigious fashion houses are considering opening stores in Auckland's Britomart precinct.
Cooper and Company, which owns and manages retail space at the downtown complex, are in talks with clothing lines Prada, Chanel and Armani, and jeweller Tiffany & Co.
Marketing director Sarah Hull could not say if they would be open in time to capitalise on well-heeled tourists coming for the Rugby World Cup.
"Some of them have been in discussions for a number of years. These things often take years," she said. Hull said the stores would not be in the newly built Atrium on Takutai Square because all but one retail space had been filled.
She said there would be more retail space available as Britomart evolved. The plan was for the area to become an international fashion hub. "Of course we'd rather have them in Britomart than anywhere else."
Fashionista Colin Mathura-Jeffree was excited by the prospect of the stores opening in Britomart.
"Downtown will be the hub of high-end fashion in Auckland, much like High St is the home of New Zealand designers and K Rd is the place to go for those individual boutiques."
Other Britomart businesses welcomed the news, too.
Shaky Isles Coffee general manager Kriselle Lee said: "It is positive for us and the whole area.
"I think we'll definitely be seeing a lot of people walking round [in a Tiffany jewellery store] because it hasn't been accessible here before."By Kieran Nash Email Kieran