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New York - Crazy Eddie Brand To Open 50 Stores In Tristate Area

Published on: March 2, 2009 10:08 AM
By: NY Post
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Crazy Eddie was famous in the 80's for his adsCrazy Eddie was famous in the 80’s for his ads

New York - In a move many would call in-saane, a Brooklyn businessman is reviving one of the most scandalous names in retail history - Crazy Eddie.

Jack Gemal has purchased the trademark of the 1970s and ‘80s electronics chain and plans to open 50 stores in the tristate area in the next two years.

As well as their rock-bottom prices, the original Crazy Eddie stores were known for their wacky radio and TV commercials featuring a frenzied, bug-eyed Jerry Carroll - driving New Yorkers nuts until the firm went bankrupt in 1989.

“Any New Yorker over 35 knows the line, ‘Crazy Eddie - his prices are in-saane!’ That recognition is worth a lot,” said Gemal.

But some say the new business plan is nuts because it brings one of the worst small-business scandals in the city’s history back to the forefront.

Bringing Crazy Eddie back is downright loony, says Sam Antar, the nephew of founder Eddie Antar and the CFO who helped cook the books and spent six months in house arrest for it. Eddie skipped to Israel, was extradited and spent 7½ years in prison.

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“Imagine starting a new investment firm called Bernie Madoff or a corporation by the name of Enron? It’s nuts,” said Sam Antar.

“The name has a vile, ugly history - because of the crimes we committed. We lost investors millions of dollars.”

Eddie Antar and his partners falsified records, swindling investors out of as much as $200 million. Company stock plummeted from $80 to $1 a share.

Gemal bought the trademark from Trident Growth Fund LP, which tried to auction it for $800,000 on eBay in 2006. The top bid was $30,100, which wasn’t enough to close the deal.

“The rights cost us less than the price of a Prius,” Gemal quipped.

He’s now on the hunt for retail space near Penn Station and plans to open the first store this year - an eyebrow-raising move, given the recession.

Circuit City, the country’s second-largest electronics retailer, folded early this year.

The trademark purchase doesn’t include the Crazy Eddie character, for which Carroll retains ownership.

“All they have to do is make me an offer I can’t refuse,” Carroll said.


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1

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:20 AM Anonymous Says:

If he does this, I guess he's proving he really is crrraaaaaaazy!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe jail time made him even crrraaaaaaaaazier!!!!

2

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:17 AM Anonymous Says:

I wish him hatzlacha, but retail consumer electronics is a terrible business made worse by on-line shopping. Look how many legit retailers have gone out of business.

3

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:27 AM Chaim S. Says:

Gemal should have no problem making money on the Crazy Eddie name. He just won't pay his bills after aw hile to his vendors, go bankrupt and pocket the money. Great way to become rich.

4

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:25 AM Anonymous Says:

There is big money to be made in selling used seforim, tfillin and talasim etc. In these hard times, people would much prefer to buy "used" but have always been embarrased to seek out such items and are reulctant to buy on ebay.

5

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:59 AM Anonymous Says:

Is this the same Jemal family that owned "the wiz" stores....also running them into bancrupcy?

6

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:43 AM Anonymous Says:

ganuvim bnie ganuvim

7

 Mar 02, 2009 at 10:50 AM know the facts first Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

If he does this, I guess he's proving he really is crrraaaaaaazy!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe jail time made him even crrraaaaaaaaazier!!!!

to 1,3,5, 6
the guy who is trying to do this Is not related to the Whiz Jemals, nor did he spend time in jail. he is just trying to make a living. why accuse him of all these things before the fact. you should all sign up for Chofetz chaims lesson a day

8

 Mar 02, 2009 at 10:38 AM Proud Sephardic Jew Says:

There seems to be a lot of anti Sephardic rants here,if the guy was a Chussid, no one would write "Theives" here.Remember ,Moshiach hasnt come because of baseless hatred.As much as you hate to admit it, Sephardic Jews are your brothers, not low class Arabs like you think.

9

 Mar 02, 2009 at 11:50 AM Big Masmid Says:

Oh please not again the screams of "insaaane" still gives me headaches.

10

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:04 PM Anonymous Says:

what a great store,,do i remember it was a life time ago...

11

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:36 PM Anonymous Says:

nostalgia has a way of smoothing things over, but the fact is, this was a lousy store to shop at before the whole scandal hit. classic bait and switch was the name of the game they played. not looking forward to another awful electronics shop near penn, there are dozens of disreputable shops near that location, ripping off tourist left and right.

12

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:17 PM 1084 Says:

Reply to #3  
Chaim S. Says:

Gemal should have no problem making money on the Crazy Eddie name. He just won't pay his bills after aw hile to his vendors, go bankrupt and pocket the money. Great way to become rich.

well how is he becoming rich if he goes after busness

13

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:17 PM Anonymous Says:

to #8
we are all brothers. who said differently?

14

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:15 PM SEPHARDIC & PROUD Says:

How could you say such lashon hara about a person who is just trying to make a living?? #8 is right, just because he's not a chusid, why is there such baseless hatred towards a Jew?? Unfortunately It seems like some of you wouldn't like his business to get off the ground.....SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

15

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:22 PM Shabab Hilween Says:

Why are you judging him?? Do you work in Beis Din Shel Myla?? At least #2 wishes him success..

16

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:54 PM Sam Sasson Says:

To #5, Facts: The Jemals of the Wiz never did anything illegal. they just ran a bad business.
To # 6 Shame on you for such slander.
to all The rest that have such baseless hatred of sephardic rants here, just ask the Ashkenasic Rosh Yeshivas at how much the Sephardic world supports them.
To # 2 & the rest that wish Hatzlahah good for you, because after all Boreh Olam decides who succeeds.

17

 Mar 02, 2009 at 04:19 PM esther Says:

i think my lovely sefardic brethren are making an issue out of nothing.these posts don't mention anything against sefardim.anyways many of the posters on vin are equal oppurtunity bashers.

18

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:02 PM SY Says:

Reply to #17  
esther Says:

i think my lovely sefardic brethren are making an issue out of nothing.these posts don't mention anything against sefardim.anyways many of the posters on vin are equal oppurtunity bashers.

I agree.

19

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:13 PM Sephardic & Very Proud Says:

Hypocrisy !! i assure Madoff is not a Esphardic name.
nor did Crazy Eddie ripp off religious institutions !!

20

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:12 PM Anonymous Says:

let me tell you something you jdub garbage.. sephardic and syrian jews are the only REAL jews in the world.. the rest of you are just going through the motion.
be jealous all you want.. dont blame us that all of you are so cheap and you all lost your money anyways...

21

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:58 PM Boro Park Chassid Says:

why are you sfardi's going crazy and putting down the other comments?? Everybody is entitled to their own opinions!!!

23

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:50 PM SY & Respectfull Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

let me tell you something you jdub garbage.. sephardic and syrian jews are the only REAL jews in the world.. the rest of you are just going through the motion.
be jealous all you want.. dont blame us that all of you are so cheap and you all lost your money anyways...

To #20 & all other Sephardics outthere, dont let us bring ourself to the level that the Jdubs brought themselves. after all they are the ones that introduced into Judaism consertvative & reform & they are the ones that cut off the Peoot from the Yemenite Jews....

24

 Mar 02, 2009 at 06:21 PM Ny100k Says:

I believe he will succeed. He will buy all the closeouts from the majors going bust, and sell them at reasonable prices, unencumbered by the high overhead, lease, and loans. I wish him much hatzlocha. (Although I hope he will be shomer shabbos).

25

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:17 PM snoopy Says:

To #20 let me set you straight. First off, you guys are the ones that labeled us jdubs when we never made up nicknames for you syrians. The reason is because you guys think that you better than though when in fact your interpetation of judiasm is corrupt and shameful. You guys are labeled as theives because 90% of you are just that. I'm not talking from thin air, I've been ripped off by you SY's numerous times but I have to give this much to you, that you have the ability to turn things around to make the victim feel guilty. Eat that

26

 Mar 02, 2009 at 10:07 PM Anonymous Says:

This clash between sephardim and ashkenazim is bizaar and baseless. It is foolish and childish. There seem to be too many bored people out there.

27

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:48 PM 1084 Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

let me tell you something you jdub garbage.. sephardic and syrian jews are the only REAL jews in the world.. the rest of you are just going through the motion.
be jealous all you want.. dont blame us that all of you are so cheap and you all lost your money anyways...

well i dont know kol yisrael AREIVIM zeh lzeh

28

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:43 PM Shaul in Monsey Says:

J-Dub or Halabi, it makes no difference. Of course we wish him well. Methinks, though, that today a remake of the Crazy Eddie, insane price model won't be enough to draw consumers in. Internet retail is where it's at. No real estate leases, no inventory. The margins at brick and mortar just aren't there to support that. Not to mention, Gemal himself acknowledges that the Crazy Eddie brand has value to the 35 and ups, but the demographic that drives this category is 10 years younger.

In general, I would expect a better thought out busness plan from my sepharadi bretheren. Maybe Sephardic Angel Fund can help him out with some consulations?

29

 Mar 02, 2009 at 10:52 PM Anonymous Says:

near Penn Station thats crazy b&h photo is there

30

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