The owners of the boutique bridal store that shut up shop may have left more than jilted brides in their wake.

A former landlord of Primrose & Fitch directors Kerry and Matthew Smith alleged the couple left a property they rented before their lease expired.

Cheryl Lilly claimed the Smiths were continually late with their rent.

"Matthew always had excuses for everything, the whole time they were there."


When she finally made a call to change the locks and evict them, she said the Smiths had left. She said neighbours reported seeing trucks moving goods from the store earlier in the week.

The Smiths last week filed for a voluntary liquidation of their company, which had two stores, one in Melbourne and one in Auckland. At least 45 Kiwi brides who've forked out deposits worth thousands of dollars have been left in the lurch after the couple shut the Auckland store, without any warning to its suppliers or its clientele. They have since returned to the United Kingdom.

Wellington-based designer Johanna Hehir was one of those who hadn't been paid the deposit for a number of dresses ordered via Primrose & Finch. At first she didn't think much of it, because the Smiths had routinely paid her quite close to the wedding day.

"They paid me when I was going to deliver the dress," she said. "They'd leave it till really close to the date. I don't know anyone who leaves it so close."