Crazy Eddie, based in Edison, N.J., operates 26 stores, including three in the Philadelphia area - in Northeast Philadelphia, Willow Grove and Cherry Hill. The Northeast Philadelphia and Willow Grove stores already were slated to close next month as part of a proposed reorganization to reduce its outlets to 18.
A company spokeswoman yesterday said that liquidation sales at all stores would start soon and should continue for a couple of months.
Crazy Eddie, named for its reclusive founder, high school dropout Eddie Antar, was one of the nation's most successful consumer-electronics chains in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was best known for its raucous advertising campaign, in which actor Jerry Carroll screeched, "Our prices are insane."
At its peak, Crazy Eddie operated 43 stores in the New York and Philadelphia areas, with annual sales of $260 million and 1,500 employees.
In 1987, its sales performance started to falter because of increased competition and management problems. Antar and various relatives who ran the company were kicked out later that year and replaced by professional management.
The Securities and Exchange Commission last month filed a civil suit against Antar and several other former executives, charging them with inflating Crazy Eddie's earnings by $29 million between 1985 and 1987.
In yesterday's statement, Crazy Eddie said the company's assets would be liquidated to pay off creditors, but that shareholders would receive nothing. The company said that as of May 28 its liabilities exceeded its assets by $26.7 million.