Australian electronics retailer

Company typePrivate
Founded1981; 43 years ago (1981)[1]
FounderGary Johnston
Number of locations
110+ stores (2018)[2]
Area served
New Zealand
Key people
Chris Wilesmith (CEO)[3]
ProductsElectronics, gadgets
Number of employees
c.1,000 (2021)[2]
SubsidiariesElectus Distribution
Websitejaycar.com.au Edit this at Wikidata

Jaycar, formerly Jaycar Electronics, is an Australia-based retailer dealing in electronic components and related products for electronics enthusiasts. The company owns around 110 stores across Australia and New Zealand, and also sells its products online in the UK and US. It was founded in 1981 by Gary Johnston, who remained managing director until his death in 2021.

The company also has a wholesale arm, Electus Distribution.


Jaycar was founded when Gary Johnston, a former Dick Smith Electronics employee, purchased John Carr & Co. Pty Ltd. He became managing director of the company.[4]

In 2005, Jaycar received negative attention from its imported Taiwanese "Choke-A-Chicken" toy that squawked and flapped its wings when strangled around its neck,[5][6] described by the RSPCA Queensland as "grossly irresponsible".[7]

In October 2012, remarks made by Johnston on Sydney radio station 2GB, seen as providing justification for sexist behaviour by unidentified staff at the Canterbury-Bankstown NRL club (Bulldogs), of which Jaycar was a major sponsor at the time, caused controversy.[8][9] There were calls to boycott Jaycar stores.[10][11][12]

In October 2016, Freetronics owner Jonathan Oxer accused Jaycar of copying his business' Open Source Arduino Experimenters kit in two videos posted to his YouTube channel.[13][14]

In September 2018 Johnston ended Jaycar's sponsorship of the Bulldogs, following questionable behaviour from players during Mad Monday celebrations.[15]

Johnston died on 10 March 2021, after being diagnosed with mesothelioma two weeks earlier.[3][16]


As of 2011[update], Jaycar has over 110 stores across Australian and New Zealand, and more than 170 authorised stockists and agents that carry Jaycar products.[2] The group also owns a number of Road Tech Marine stores.[16]

Electus Distribution is Jaycar's wholesale arm, which operates as a separate company and provides products to independent and other retailers as well as and original equipment manufacturers in Australia and New Zealand.[17]

Community involvement

Jaycar became a major sponsor of NRL club Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 2009,[18] but questionable behaviour from players led Johnston to end the partnership in September 2018.[15] Jaycar sponsors Warby Motorsport and a number of local sports teams.[citation needed] Jaycar has sponsored the Western Suburbs Magpies rugby league team, based in western Sydney, since 2019. Johnston had been a "lifelong supporter".[3]

The company has supported or hosted maker culture events,[19][20] and supports several charities, including:

See also


  1. ^ "Jaycar Talks History and 30th Birthday". Current.com.au. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Jaycar Electronics New Zealand". About Jaycar. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f McPhee, Sarah (11 March 2021). "Jaycar founder Gary Johnston dies aged 71". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Jaycar Is 30 Years Old". siliconchip.com.au. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  5. ^ Haines, Lester (20 October 2005). "Animal lovers slam Choke-A-Chicken toy". The Register. Retrieved 25 September 2008.
  6. ^ "Choke-a-chicken". Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  7. ^ Australian Associated Press (19 October 2005). "RSPCA outraged over "choke the chicken" toy". The Age. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Expect the same in pubs, says Dogs sponsor". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  9. ^ Barret, Chris (9 October 2012). "Mad Monday comments 'not directed at reporter'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  10. ^ Richards, David (3 October 2012). "Women urged to ban Jaycar stores". Channel News. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  11. ^ Crabb, Annabel (7 October 2012). "The non-apology: a spotter's guide". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  12. ^ Crawley, Paul (4 October 2012). "Boxer Lauryn Eagle agrees with sponsor's defence of Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs' Mad Monday abuse". news.com.au. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  13. ^ Oxer, Jonathan (17 October 2016). "Vlog #44: Experimenters Kit for Arduino ripped off by Duinotech / Jaycar". YouTube. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021.
  14. ^ Oxer, Jonathan (17 October 2016). "Vlog #45: That's not how Open Source works". YouTube. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021.
  15. ^ a b Bailey, Scott (9 September 2018). "Jaycar drops Bulldogs sponsorship after Mad Monday disgrace". The New Daily. Jaycar axes its Bulldogs sponsorship
  16. ^ a b Newson, Michael. "Media Release" (PDF).
  17. ^ "About Techbranda". Electus Distribution. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  18. ^ Timmah (11 June 2009). ""Jaycar" Bulldogs - new front of Jersey Sponsor". League Unlimited.
  19. ^ "Sydney Mini Maker Faire 2015". Sydney Mini Maker Faire 2015. 18 October 2023. Partners
  20. ^ "Events". NEURON. Townsville Workshop September 2017
  21. ^ "Meet Our National Partners". Starlight Children's Foundation. 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2021. Jaycar Electronics
  22. ^ Dr Darryl Hodgkinson (6 June 2017). Thank you Jaycar Electronics - Operation Restore Hope (Video). Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2021. Thank you to Jaycar Electronics for their on going support over all the years.
  23. ^ "Sponsors". FSHD. 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  24. ^ Team Exodus (2019). "New food van means even more meals". The Exodus Foundation. Retrieved 12 March 2021. The new food van was generously funded by Gary Johnson, founder of Jaycar Electronics.
  25. ^ @SaveOurSons (15 March 2018). "We want to send a BIG thank you to Gary Johnston from @JaycarAU" (Tweet). Retrieved 12 March 2021 – via Twitter.

External links

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata
  • Road Tech Marine
  • Electus Distribution