In its heyday, Crazy Eddie dominated the New York CE scene with 40-plus stores and an irritating but effective TV campaign that made it a household word.
All that changed in 1989 when founder Eddie Antar and other executives were charged with one of the largest stock frauds in U.S. history. The crime cost investors $400 million and Antar seven years in jail. Today, Eddie works in a lone Crazy Eddie outlet that was opened last year by his nephews.
Last month it seemed that the store was primed for a comeback. A deal had been struck with a local seven-unit chain, Big Daddy Electronics, to license the Crazy Eddie name, and a multimedia advertising campaign was produced that revisited the original “His prices are insane!” theme.
But the deal was ultimately dashed by Big Daddy due to a disappointing grand-opening turnout, a larger than anticipated ad budget, and a reportedly apprehensive distributor concerned by Eddie’s “insane” emphasis on price. — Alan Wolf