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Vodafone Australia brings an end to Crazy John's

Vodafone has announced that it will put an end to the Crazy John's brand and close a number of its stores from February 20, 2013.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Vodafone Hutchison Australian has announced that it will only operate under the single retail brand of Vodafone as of February 20, bringing an end to the Crazy John's brand across the country.

Vodafone spokesperson Karina Keisler told ZDNet in a statement that existing Crazy John's customers would be supported through Vodafone stores.

"Some of our Crazy John's locations will close, while others will be transformed into Vodafone branded stores over the coming months," she said.

"We plan to exit Crazy John's retail outlets on February 20, 2013. During this transition period we are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for our customers, and will do our best to redeploy as many Crazy John's retail employees as possible to work in one of our many Vodafone stores.”

"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."

According to the Crazy John's website, it currently employs over 400 staff across Australia. The chain was started in 1991 by businessman John Ilhan as a reseller for Telstra. In 2007, Ilhan shifted the company to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) amidst a long dispute with the telco giant .

Vodafone bought Crazy John's and its 76,000 customers in 2008 from Ilhan's widow following his death in late 2007. The deal came shortly before the merger of Vodafone and Hutchison in 2009.

Vodafone could not confirm today how many staff would be affected by the decision.

The news comes as rival Optus also moves to end its agreements with TeleChoice and Allphones, instead switching to Optus-branded retail stores.

Vodafone shed approximately 10 percent of its workforce late last year as part of a restructure to refocus the company following massive financial and customer losses over the last two years because of poor network performance.

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