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The event represented a "once-in-a-generation chance" for the city, and businesses should start planning now, Dunedin City councillor and George St retailer John Bezett said yesterday.
The council has teamed up with the Otago Chamber of Commerce to provide information for retailers on how to capitalise on the tournament.
Ideas include dressing businesses in bunting, learning phrases to greet supporters, knowing where the nearest money exchange or public toilet is - and avoiding making jokes of other countries.
Other ideas included extending the opening hours of shops to take advantage of the thousands of fans expected in the inner city before and after each match, or "at the very least" leaving shop lights on, Cr Bezett said.
Arthur Barnett chief executive Neil Finn-House said the large contingent of northern hemisphere fans expected for the tournament represented an opportunity for central city retailers moving from winter to summer stock.
Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said he doubted city businesses would be dropping prices during the tournament.
He hoped firms would use the guide to update their staff about the World Cup, decorate their shops, and learn some basic greetings.
Dunedin hosts four weekend matches, Argentine v England (September 10), England v Georgia (September 18), England v Romania (September 24), and Ireland v Italy (October 2) with kick-off times ranging from 6pm to 8.30pm.