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Former type Electronics & Appliance retailer
Fate Bankrupt
Founded 1950s
Defunct May 1996
Headquarters Detroit, Michigan
Key people Oliver Fretter, founder

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 five-pound cans of Maxwell House; later he dispensed the cans wrapped in paper labels that read "Fretter House Coffee.")

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.[1][2][3][4]

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


  1. ^ 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." 
  2. ^ 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." 
  3. ^ 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." 
  4. ^ "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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94 news items

Sheffield Telegraph

Sheffield Telegraph
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 19:15:00 -0700

Roy says he is delighted how well his line with Mike Forney and Colton Fretter has gelled. “We are doing pretty good for now, we clicked right away so that's a good thing.” The former Florida Everblades' captain hopes the feelgood factor from last ...
Sheffield Telegraph
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:11:15 -0700

The 27-year-old French Canadian has been an inspiring feature of what may turn out to be the Elite League's hottest line, alongside Michael Forney and Colton Fretter. Roy's skating style had been questioned before his arrival - but any doubts have been ...

Sheffield Telegraph

Sheffield Telegraph
Sun, 14 Sep 2014 16:08:02 -0700

However, Fife paid for a poor shift change, three Steelers attackers combining in acres of room to make it 3-1, through Fretter at 18;35. Regan continued to have to fling himself all over his crease in the relentless pressure of the middle session and ...
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:33:45 -0700

David “D” Fretter (vocals and guitar) and Carley Snaith (vocals and ukulele) of Breathing Easy will make their debut performance at the Wood N Frog Coffee Company in Tsawwassen tomorrow at 7 p.m. They play alternative reggae and rock. Tom Morrison ...

The Star

The Star
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 01:13:36 -0700

Like every 'fan' Smith has his favourites: “Darrell Hay looks very good and Colton Fretter looks like he will be exceptional. All the new imports seem good, but the British players have gone up a level too. They are all benefitting from G's leadership ...

The Star

The Star
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 22:05:00 -0700

Game 1 will be a huge test and offence will be expected right from the get go from the new import line up led by recent arrival Colton Fretter. The 32 year old Canadian only arrived in Sheffield on Tuesday but his pedigree and resume will have all ...

The Star

The Star
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:16:53 -0700

“Darrell Hay was outstanding at the back and Michael Forney and Mathieu Roy were excellent on the line with Colton Fretter.” Asked if he thought he had the hard working team he'd wanted to recruit he said: “Yeas, but there is more to come. We have a ...
The Star
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:46:04 -0700

That process should be aided today by the arrival of Colton Fretter, for whom much is expected in front of goal. Fretter should fit in well as Hay says the dressing room had begun to show signs of being a close-knit community. “The group is close ...

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