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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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1632 news items


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 ...
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:26:15 -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 ...
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 18:30:00 -0700

Pictured are (front row) goalie Dougie Fretter, (second row from left) Andrew Brees, Griffin Mitchell, Ethan Drabicki, Jake Rand, Dawson Wallis, Jack Johnson, Stephen King Jr., (third row from left) Nolan Davis, Lauren Waldo, Colin Stroble, Braden Yudt ...

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.

The Star

The Star
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:30:00 -0700

Steelers had intensity in every shift and with Colton Fretter fitting in well back on the first line they scored two in15 minutes. Fretter took just 12 seconds to fire in the first shot, which went wide, but within three minutes Cullen Eddy smashed the ...

Boston Globe (subscription)

Boston Globe (subscription)
Wed, 18 Mar 2015 20:39:07 -0700

Plaintiffs Denise Fretter, a regional sales manager in Ohio, and Maria Korsgaard, a former territory manager in Nevada, state in the suit that Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corp., in Valencia, Calif., pays its female sales reps less than males ...
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:24:32 -0800

Fretter. Über 50 Mitglieder konnte der 1. Vorsitzende des SV Fretter, Marko Sasse, zur Mitgliederversammlung des SV Fretter begrüßen. Bei den Wahlen wurde Marko Sasse für zwei weitere Jahre im Amt bestätigt. Nach langer erfolgreicher Tätigkeit beendete ...

The Star

The Star
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 11:28:12 -0700

Colton Fretter, Jeff Legue and Mike Forney all had efforts, but generally Sheffield were hesitant to shoot. Sheffield had more zest after the break and pressed the visitors, Jeff Legue and Sarich could have equalised. The breakthrough came at 27;19 ...

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