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Electronics & Appliance retailer
Fate Bankrupt
Founded 1950s
Defunct May 1996
Headquarters Detroit, Michigan
Key people
Oliver Fretter, founder
Slogan The competition knows me, you should, too.

Fretter was an electronics and major appliance retailer based out of Detroit, Michigan, founded in the 1950s by Oliver "Ollie" Fretter.

Fretter's first store was located on Telegraph Road just north of Interstate 96 in the city of Redford, Michigan, and the main warehouse, warehouse store and company headquarters, was on Schoolcraft Road (I-96 service drive) in Livonia. Fretter expanded his operations throughout the midwest and New England by the 1970s.

The company's founder and spokesman, Ollie Fretter, became known in the Detroit area in the 1970s and 1980s by humorous TV commercials in which he promised, "I’ll give you five pounds of coffee if I can't beat your best deal. The competition knows me. You should too!" (When occasionally he had to make good on the whimsical offer, Fretter gave away one-pound cans of coffee that had been relabeled "net weight — 5 pounds".[1])

In 1992, Fretter acquired their biggest competition of the time Silo Electronics, a company that had previously not turned a profit since the 1980s. This was an attempt by Fretter to compete with its new major competition, electronic superstores Circuit City and Best Buy, which were much larger than Fretter's stores. This move would lead the company into serious debt and Chapter 11 bankruptcy, forcing the chain to close many locations by 1993. All Silo Electronics stores were closed by 1995, with all Fretter locations closing by May 1996.[2][3][4][5]

Oliver Fretter died on June 29, 2014 at the age of 91.


  1. ^ Reindl, J.C. (July 1, 2014). "Ollie Fretter, colorful founder of Fretter Appliances, dead at 91". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved January 6, 2015. 
  2. ^ Lisa Holton (December 17, 1991). "Not always better to shop at Fretter's: Ward's suit". Chicago Sun-Times. Montgomery Ward slapped Fretter Inc. with a federal lawsuit Monday, alleging that the Detroit-based electronics superstore made false claims in a recent TV ad saying Fretter's prices were better than Ward's. 
  3. ^ Jerry Ackerman (November 10, 1995). "Fretter closes all NE stores, retail promises to honor warranties, refund deposits". The Boston Globe. With its brand appeal apparently waning and new competition on the horizon, Fretter Superstores yesterday quit New England, closing its 15 electronics outlets in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and directing queries to a toll-free 800 number. Although doors were locked and telephones went unanswered at local stores, Fretter Inc., based in Livonia, Michigan, told state officials that consumers have made deposits on merchandise or have warranty claims would be protected. 
  4. ^ Matt Roush (December 2, 1996). "How Fretter fell.". Crain's Detroit Business. 'Whole bunch of things' led to demise of appliance icon. Don't feel sorry for Ollie. It is true that the collapse of Fretter Inc. cost founder Oliver Fretter millions of dollars in paper profits, as he watched his remaining 3.5 million-share, 33 percent stake in the company decline to virtual worthlessness. But between the company's 1986 initial public offering and its 1993 combination with the Silo chain, owned by British electronics giant Dixons plc, Ollie Fretter already had cashed out of the company twice, putting about $35 million in his pockets. 
  5. ^ "Home Electronics, Appliance Chain Fretter Inc. Considers Bankruptcy". AP News, September 27, 1995.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fretter — Please support Wikipedia.
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1217 news items

Wichita Eagle

Wichita Eagle
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:53:22 -0700

Thor Bonner, Barry Jones, Jammin' Biscuits, Delores and the Pickin'-Fretter, Emily Strom Trio, Book of Jebb, Knocknasheega, The DeVeils and the Ne'erdowells will play, and there will be food vendors. Hours for Prairiestock will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The ...

Stratford Observer

Stratford Observer
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 01:26:15 -0700

Jason Fretter (389th, 2:02.14, chip - 2:00.58): “I couldn't be too disappointed with my performance, all things considered. “I had hoped to stay below two hours but just missed it. I felt strong until ten miles but then a lack of training really ...
Tue, 07 Apr 2015 15:18:45 -0700

Fretter. Zehn Laufveranstalter haben sich für den HS-Laufcup 2015 zusammengeschlossen. Die wunderschönen aber auch anspruchsvollen Landschaftsläufe mit teilweise atemberaubenden Panoramablicken lassen die Läuferherzen höher schlagen.

WDIV Detroit

Detroit Free Press
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 07:49:58 -0700

Oliver L. (Ollie) Fretter, the colorful founder and president of the old Fretter appliance and electronics store chain whose zany commercials endeared him to a generation of local television viewers, died Sunday at his home in Bloomfield Hills. He was 91.


Thu, 26 Mar 2015 06:30:00 -0700

Es ist auch eine weitere Verschönerung unseres Sportheimes, welches von Heim- und Gastzuschauern ausschließlich positiv bewertet wird.“ Die Bildung der Spielgemeinsamt mit dem SV Fretter wurde ebenfalls als positive Entwicklung gewertet. Matthias ...

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph
Sat, 04 Apr 2015 12:25:47 -0700

Darrell Hay levelled on the powerplay at 34.51 before Colton Fretter made it 2-1 to the holders at 37.51. Jonathan Phillips was denied on a breakaway by Stingrays goaltender David Brown and Steelers twice hit the frame of the goal before C ory Tanaka ...
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:34:52 -0700

Wir bedanken uns bei Stefan Florath und Stefan Tomek, die diesen finanziellen Kraftakt hervorragend geplant und umgesetzt haben.“ Die Bildung der Spielgemeinsamt mit dem SV Fretter wurde ebenfalls als positive Entwicklung gewertet. Matthias Kremer ...

The Star

The Star
Fri, 03 Apr 2015 15:41:15 -0700

Sheffield Steelers must move quickly to ensure they keep the core of their League winning team after this weekend's Play Off season-finale. So far, they have Cullen Eddy, Colton Fretter, Rob Dowd, Mathieu Roy, Ben O'Connor and Jonathan Phillips on a ...

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