Vodaphone shuts down Crazy John's mobile phone stores

ALMOST a year after Crazy John's was recognised as having Australia's most satisfied customers of any mobile phone retailer, the huge franchise will shut its doors next month.

The phone retailer was taken over by Vodafone five years ago, after Crazy John's founder John Ilhan's widow Patricia sold the company for $150 million.

Vodafone announced on Wednesday it was streamlining its retail brands, with Crazy John's to be removed from storefronts, replaced by the Vodafone branding.

The move could see up to 40 stores around the country close, with the remaining 21 stores to be re-branded Vodafone, as of February 20.

While the Crazy John's franchise employs about 300 people, a Vodafone spokeswoman could not confirm how many jobs may be lost as part of the closure.

She said the company was focussed on retaining as many employees as possible and reports, that all 300 jobs would go, were incorrect.

"It wasn't an easy decision to make but it is necessary to remain competitive and to ensure we focus our investment where our customers and people will benefit most," she said.

However, the company would not release details of which stores in particular would be closed.

The re-branding effort comes almost 12 months after the Crazy John's franchise was awarded a five-star Canstar Blue consumer rating for Australia's most satisfied customers, in the mobile phone retail category.

In the same awards in February last year, the Vodafone brand came in last, with a three-star rating, behind Optus, Telstra and Virgin Mobile.

The company spokeswoman said all Crazy John's customers would continue to be supported through the Vodafone brand, and they would also have access to even more products due to the change.

All customers will be moved to the Vodafone brand, with access to the company's retail store network, online, and customer care (132 299), and the mobile MyAccount service.


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