How insane is this? Magic Investments, a family owned, New York area firm has purchased the Crazy Eddie retail name and intends to bring it back in several forms, including online, in brick-and-mortar locations and with licensed products.
Crazy Eddie, at one time, was a consumer electronics retailer located in the Northeastern United States. It was started in 1971 and was liquidated via bankruptcy proceedings in 1989. At one time, the chain operated 43 stores with $300 million in annual revenue. It was renown for its brash radio, TV and print ads. On the air, actor/radio DJ Jerry Carroll would scream in a frenetic voice about Crazy Eddie discounting: “The guaranteed lowest prices on audio, video, anything and everything in home entertainment!” The tagline was an apoplectic: “His prices are insane.”
The original chain was doomed when several government bodies began investigating alleged illegal warranty billing practices and violations of federal security laws. Co-owner Eddie Antar eventually served six years in prison; his cousin, Sam Antar, spent six months under house arrest.
This past February, Magic Investments, a firm primarily owned by the Gemal family --whose roots, coincidentally like the Antars, date back to origins in Brooklyn, N.Y. – acquired the Crazy Eddie brand name from Trident Growth Fund of Houston. Trident, itself, had purchased the name from the Antar family in 2004.
“We have a Web site up and running [www.pricesareinsane.com], offering consumers worldwide the lowest costs on electronic and digital products,” said Ike Gemal, vp, licensing. “We have marketing and advertising campaigns . . . in the works to include radio, TV, print media, New York City billboards, taxicab advertising and more.”
Currently on the Web site, Crazy Eddie is offering a wide array of major brand name TVs, cameras, printers, CD and DVD players, GPS devices, small kitchen appliances, videogame players, electronic accessories and seemingly hundreds of other items.
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