French beauty retailer Sephora has today confirmed its plans for expansion in New Zealand and that it will open its first store in Auckland this year.

Sephora's first local store - a flagship three-storey fitout - will open at 146-152 Queen Street this year. It has not announced when exactly it will open but is reportedly spending more than $5 million on the retail space.

READ MORE:It's happening: Sephora setting up first New Zealand store

The large store will be housed in a heritage building and will be similar in concept to other flagship stores it has located in major cities around the world. The fitout includes an elevator, interesting lighting fixtures, an outside canopy and elaborate signage.

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The store will "pay homage to the retailer's global brand by incorporating iconic black and white striped" designs, Sephora said.

"It will definitely stick out," a source told the Herald last month when news of Sephora's first store broke.

The first New Zealand Sephora store follows further expansion into the Asian markets. The retailer currently operates in 12 countries, and classifies New Zealand as part of its Asia region including Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Korea.

Sephora launched its New Zealand e-commerce store at the end of 2015 and has had a local company registered with Companies Office for quite some time. It has been coy about opening a physical store.

Representatives from the company were understood to be scouting locations for its first New Zealand store early last year.

Pedro Coutinho, interim general manager of Sephora Australia and New Zealand, said the Auckland store would be a "destination like no other".

"We are so excited to introduce our renowned service offering, a suite of the most sought after beauty brands from around the world and a fun place for our clients to experience and explore their own beauty journey," Coutinho said.

"We've listened to what our online clients want from Sephora, and this new
Auckland location will help us deliver it."

Sephora Asia president Benjamin Vuchot said New Zealand will be a key market for building the brands presence in its Asian region.

"This expansion to a new market will allow Sephora to continue to amplify global beauty trends locally, elevate what our clients expect of the in-store experience and bring fresh, digital touch points to the retail environment to create a virtual, client-centric cycle."

The Herald has been pressing Sephora for information on its New Zealand launch for quite some time but the retailer has remained tight-lipped until now.

It is also understood that Sephora is working on the fitout for a second Auckland store in Sylvia Park in Mount Wellington, New Zealand's largest mall. It is yet to confirm these plans.