Staff are in tears, customers are angry and the liquidators have been called in after the shock closing of an Auckland jewellery store.

It appears the collapse of Ore Jewellery in Albany Westfield mall was known only to the company, its shareholders and the liquidators after staff turned up for work on Monday morning wondering what had happened.

Other workers in the Albany mall told the Herald they had seen "the manager", believed to company director Brian Donaldson, packing up all the stock on Sunday evening.

The abrupt closure had also "broken" the heart of one of the staffers who turned up to do the work that she loved, only to find she was suddenly jobless.


The company's Facebook and Instagram pages have been pulled down and the store's phone number goes unanswered.

Ore Jewellery had a standalone stall in the mall on Level 2, next to Samsung and Boost Juice.

When contacted, Donaldson described the situation as "absolutely awful" but said he couldn't make any comment.

The company, which sold earrings, watches, necklaces and bracelets, was officially put into liquidation at 1.30pm on Monday, according to the Companies Office.

The dejected staff member said she'd been contacted by some customers personally and was trying to help them as much as she could.

"What's happened is so unfair and not okay, my heart's broken, I love Ore, so it hurt a lot.

"I'm not an emotional person but I just broke down crying I was in so much shock."

She said she loved the job and wouldn't have done it for two years if she didn't.


The woman said she was with Donaldson at work on that Sunday evening when he told her he would "see me in the morning".

"I'm a 20-year-old girl, with car troubles and bills to pay and he looked me dead in the eye and he was fine with leaving me jobless the next day."

She said she also felt sorry for her other colleagues who were just as shocked and gutted as she was.

Her life had now been turned upside down and plans to save for travelling overseas and setting up a new flat had all but disappeared as she tried to find another job.

Staff from other businesses at the mall said they spotted the "owner" removing stock late on Sunday evening.

"Sunday I was working here and the owner came and took everything out. There's no one working [now], they have nothing on the shelves. Absolutely nothing.

"I was here about 5.30pm and left at 6.20pm and he was still here."

Other staff at the mall said they hadn't seen anyone at the stall today, while one said he saw staff milling around Monday morning.

Ore Jewellery shut up shop the night before it was put into liquidation.
Ore Jewellery shut up shop the night before it was put into liquidation.

She hadn't seen the owner since but she had seen other staff who knew nothing about the situation.

"I saw [staff] yesterday and she was shocked as well, she was crying and thinks that she doesn't have a job any more and the guy doesn't answer the phone."

A customer, who declined to be named, said she took a Cluse watch in for repair at the weekend and went back on Monday to talk the manager only to find the store had been "cleaned out".

"They wouldn't give me a refund or exchange as they said they needed manager approval and told me to come back on Monday and when I went the store is all closed up and stock gone."

She asked around and was also told the owner was in on Sunday night and took everything.

"The staff turned up to work this morning and realised they had no job any more."

The woman said she saw a large pile of watches waiting for repair.

"They had quite a few returned for a mechanical issue and people were waiting for months for a replacement or refund. There were at least 15 watches in a basket that were broken that I saw."

Donaldson's partner, Bryce Ebben, was removed as a director of the company in August but remains a shareholder.

Other shareholders appear to include family and friends in Whanganui, Auckland and Christchurch, where Donaldson lives with Ebben.

When contacted Ebben said he couldn't talk but referred the Herald onto Donaldson.

When asked to offer comment to affected staff and customers, Donaldson said while it was an "absolutely awful situation" he said he had been advised not to talk about it.

He referred the Herald to liquidator Geoff Brown from Rodgers Reidy, but he could not be reached for comment.

Scentre Group, which own Westfield Albany, has also been approached for comment.