An alternative shopping centre, threatened by a £920m regeneration, could be saved by moving into one of Liverpool's most famous stores.
The alternative centre could move to the George Henry Lee building
The owners of the former Cammell Laird shipyard could fund the Quiggins Centre to move to the council-owned George Henry Lee building.
But Liverpool City Council leader Mike Storey says the centre would be out of character for that location.
Quiggins' owners say he is out of touch with their plans.
More than 100,000 people signed a petition backing Quiggins - whose stalls offer anything from Henna tattoos to alternative fashion - which faces a compulsory purchase order as part of the Paradise Street redevelopment.
Quiggins will have to make way for the Paradise Street development
Quiggins is currently in talks with developers Grosvenor about relocating with the George Henry Lee site its preferred option.
But Councillor Storey said it would be the wrong move.
"My own personal view is that George Henry Lee would be a totally unsuitable building.
"Quiggins is a niche provider, if you like second hand goods and small outlets offering everything from tattoos to body piercing to beads. It would change the whole character of Church Street.
"I couldn't imagine Marks and Spencer and Littlewoods wanting to be part of that particular scene."
However a Quiggins spokesman said: "Our new centre would not be a clone of Quiggins but would keep its ethos."
He said: "There would be no room for bric-a-brac - Councillor Storey has jumped the gun without seeing our plans."
The spokesman said the new centre would include an international food hall and creative retailers who would not have fitted into the existing Quiggins site in School Lane.
And Quiggins' property adviser John Riding said having Quiggins in the former department store would keep people shopping in the Church Street area as well as the newly developed Paradise Street.
The Quiggins spokesman said in its 20-year history it had helped hundreds of small business get established without taking a penny of public money.