The country's largest shopping mall is set to get even bigger once it opens its 20,000 square metre retail extension next month.
The level one expansion, previously referred to as The Galleria, will house an additional 60 shops and open on October 15 after two and a half years under construction. The development has cost Sylvia Park owner Kiwi Property $277 million.
The level 1 expansion opening will also include dining precinct The Terrace and will take the total number of shops in the East Auckland shopping mall to 250, the most of any shopping centre in New Zealand.
French cosmetics giant Sephora, along with Farmers will be among the new retailers opening in the precinct, with Farmers unveiling a large 8100sq m flagship store.
Victoria's Secret is also expected to open a store within level 1, although this has not yet been confirmed.
Kiwi Property is expected to announce a high-profile tenant for the precinct next week.
Kiwi Property chief executive Clive Mackenzie said he expected the new development to attract shoppers from across Auckland.
"Sylvia Park is already New Zealand's favourite shopping centre and we want to continue raising the bar. The new level 1 will deliver more stores, more choice and more excitement. It's never been easier for customers to enjoy the brands they know and love – all under the one roof," Mackenzie said.
Farmers chief financial officer Michael Power said the chain's new store would feature the latest in fashion and beauty.
In January, Sephora confirmed it would be opening its second New Zealand store in Sylvia Park ahead of Christmas. It opened its first on Auckland's Queen St in July last year, drawing huge crowds of eager shoppers.
Sephora president of the Asia-Pacific region, Benjamin Vuchot, last year told the Herald the cosmetics retailer had plans to have three stores operational in Auckland and one each in Christchurch and Wellington over the next few years.
Victoria's Secret has long been tipped to open a store in Sylvia Park. When questioned by the Herald about this last year, the mall owner would neither confirm or deny it was among one of the international retailers that would open in the development.
"We are unable to comment on specific retailers at this time. Leasing of the new galleria level of Sylvia Park is progressing well and we're in talks with many local and international brands," Linda Trainer, general manager of retail at Kiwi Property, said last year.
"Sylvia Park is a desired location for many new retailers and we are excited about the brands that will be on offer."
In May after the first lockdown, Sylvia Park said its visitor numbers to the centre bounced back strongly. Foot traffic to the shopping centre was down just 9 per cent compared to the same time a year earlier, beating original forecasts.
Retail analyst Chris Wilkinson said Sylvia Park was considered a destination, typically drawing tens of thousands of shoppers on a monthly basis.
"Traditional malls service a localised area, Sylvia Park, because of its scale and location, it serves a vast audience. It services the Auckland region but it also reaches into the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. People travel for malls of that scale," Wilkinson said.
Large-scale shopping malls were typically more successful than smaller ones, he said, adding that they had strong food and beverage offerings which attracted more visitors.
"Malls of the future are going to become basically mini cities."
Wilkinson said large multi-million dollar shopping centres would feel some short-term pain from a pullback in consumer spending and confidence, but they would ultimately reap the benefits in the long run.