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From time to time, we post things that don’t immediately relate to Android. We received this tip, thought it a little odd, and so decided we’d look into it a bit further, and share it for your consideration.

Crazy Johns, part of the VHA (Vodafone Hutchison Australia) group, is closing some stores in New South Wales – and not just some small ones that won’t impact many people. Some of their larger stores are going too. We’ve got the list below – but the first question that came to mind is why is this going on?

Cast your mind back a couple of months – end of financial year time – and let’s take a look at what’s been going on with VHA. VHA is a joint venture, owned equally by Vodafone Group Plc (Vodafone) and Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited (HTAL). We’re not sure what Vodafone reports, but as far as HTAL is concerned, the picture isn’t good – they’ve posted a $131.3m loss for the first half of 2012, it’s share of service revenue has dropped by 15.8%, and in that same period VHA lost 178,000 customers (or around 2.5% of its customer base), bringing it down to 6.8 million. Roughly two thirds of that 6.8m customers are post-paid, meaning somewhere around 2.2m users are prepaid.

One wonders how many of those 2.2m prepaid users are still active, and how many are customers that have left for other carriers and whose loss to the competition has not yet been realised.

Anyhow, this isn’t entirely bad news – as we also know, VHA are investing quite heavily in improving their network (and many of us would also know, it’s about time!) and hopefully this will start to return the business to a more profitable operation. Already they are noticing reduced complaints to the TIO – VHA attribute this to better customer service, but quite likely the slow but steady improvements in the network have helped a bit.

Anyway, enough opinion – the following stores are rumoured to close by month’s end:

  • Bondi Junction
  • George St City
  • East Gardens
  • Mount Druitt
  • Rouse Hill
  • Canberra Centre (not technically NSW, but close enough)
  • Kotara
  • Charlestown

Rumour has it that the closures may not end there. Given VHA’s current financial position, and its results for the first half of 2012, it seems likely that a few more will go.