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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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806 news items

Yorkshire Post

Yorkshire Post
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:47:39 -0700

The home side, looking to bounce back after losing their unbeaten league run at Cardiff on Sunday, soon established a grip on proceedings at Ice Sheffield when scoring two goals in the space of 24 seconds, the first coming from the stick of Fretter at ...
The Star
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 05:19:40 -0700

View the latest news and sport or download full editions of the newspaper to read offline. Search for The Star in your Android or iOS app store today. Newspaper subscribers get free unlimited access to the app.


Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:37:30 -0700

She found out about the Junior Girls from friend Ariel Fretter of Livonia. It sounded like fun, so she decided to join. And with her step-father in the Army, it gave her a way of helping people. “It makes me feel happy to help someone,” she said. “They ...

The Star

The Star
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:30:00 -0700

And Fretter's credentials for the accolade were improved on Wednesday when he scored a hat-trick in the 6-2 win over Edinburgh Capitals. “I have no idea who will be top scorer - that's good, it's never happened to me before!” said Adams. “Fretter is ...

The Star

The Star
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:01:10 -0700

Colton Fretter says Sheffield Steelers must face down Cardiff Devils' gritty, aggressive style if they are to get maximum points in back-to-back games against the Welsh this weekend. Steelers have had mixed success against Devils so far, winning away ...
NW Evening Mail
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 00:07:30 -0700

John Fretter, 26, of Newton Terrace, Millom, admitted two offences of making a threat to kill Mr Hewson, who was known to many as “Spud” and was father to a little girl. Fretter was jailed for 13-and-a-half months. He made the threats on April 30 and ...


Doncaster Today
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:52:30 -0700

On Saturday, Steelers put themselves under early pressure, Colton Fretter and Dustin Kohn both giving the puck away in their own zones. Doug Clarkson and Trevor Hendrikx threatened Frank Doyle's net, but Steelers worked through their problems.

The Star

The Star
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:45:00 -0700

... his agent other teams and ourselves will continue.” Capitals were in need of a win to help them catch up with third from the bottom Hull Stingrays. Steelers, who are in fourth spot, went two up in the first six minutes through Colton Fretter and ...

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