Customers of Baccio Jewellers have been told they will be reunited with their jewellery this afternoon, Monday, June 25, after the retailer unexpectedly shut its doors at Westfield Miranda last week.
Several customers who put deposits on lay-by items or left rings for repair, were shocked to discover that the shop suddenly closed.
Dasha McGee left $1000 on a $6500 diamond ring she wanted for her 50th birthday present.
“I had my heart on it but when I noticed less and less stock in the windows, I thought ‘they’ve done a runner’ – it was bizarre,” she said.
“Since then we bought another one but I have a receipt so hopefully I get the money back.”
Another customer, Kimberley Chapple, paid a $600 cash deposit for her wedding band.
“I had bought my engagement ring from there and had no problems, but I haven’t heard from them,” she said.
Store manager Mario Zamel said the “few outstanding jobs” were complete and ready to be handed over to customers.
“The jobs should be finished by this afternoon, including a main sapphire ring,” he said.
“I will call them and there will be a safe pick-up point at a local jeweller.
“Everything will be nicely packaged just like it would be if they picked them up from our store.”
He said it was understandable why some customers “panicked”.
“Sometimes things get delayed when we send items off to contractors,” he said.
“I’m not personally interested in anybody’s jewellery and I’m not running away.
“My heart goes out to them and we weren’t holding anything for ransom.
“It’s all been a bit of a headache and my apologies to them.”
Mr Zamel said he would not return to Westfield.
“We’d been at Westfield for 10 years – I’m done with jewellery and retail,” he said.
“They forced us out and pushed us into a corner – it killed us after we were made to spend $1 million on the fit-out. It put a dent in the pocket.
“After the renovation, everyone suffered.
“Half the time the centre is empty and there are lots of vacant stores there now.”
NSW Fair Trading has appointed a dedicated case manger to investigate current and future complaints regarding the trader.