Crazy John’s Is Dead, Long Live Crazy John’s

Crazy John’s, at one point one of Australia’s largest independent mobile phone retailers and the only business in the country to incorporate mental illness as part of their brand identity, is not long for this world, pushing its trolley to the big discount bin in the sky with parent company Vodaphone today announcing plans to discontinue the brand and migrate some 100,000 Crazy John’s customers to Vodaphone contracts.

“It is a sad day and it’s certainly the end of an era in name but his pioneering spirit is alive here,” Vodafone Australia director of sales Ben McIntosh said. “We look forward to welcoming those Crazy John’s customers who are coming over to Vodafone, and we say goodbye to those who are leaving and thank them for their loyalty and support over the years.”

Crazy John’s, the once ubiquitous brainchild of eponymous Australian businessman John Ilhan, was first established in Brunswick in Melbourne in the early 90’s before aggressively expanding all over the country, in the process providing countless cash-strapped teenagers who just wanted to play Snake and prank call their teachers with their very first Nokia 3210. The store was best known for its irreverent approach to marketing as well as its bargain basement prices, at one point selling mobile phones for just $1. 
Following Ilhan’s unexpected death in 2007, his widow Patricia Ilhan sold her 75% share of the company to Vodaphone in 2008. Its demise from there was inevitable. In 2013 Vodaphone announced it would close 40-60 Crazy John’s branded retail stores for cost-cutting reasons and are now announcing the closure of all remaining outlets, signalling the death of one of the most batshit crazy Australian brands ever.        
You will be missed.