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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.

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90 news items


Sun, 17 Aug 2014 05:00:00 -0700

Fretter. Ein besonderes Laufereignis steht in Fretter am Samstag, den 27. September an. Zum 50. Mal richtet der Ski-Club seinen Herbstwaldlauf aus, der im Jahr 1965 von der Fretteraner Laufikone Herrmann Brutscheid ins Leben gerufen wurde und seitdem ...


Sun, 17 Aug 2014 12:14:04 -0700

SG Serkenrode/Fretter - SpVg Olpe II 9:4 (5:1). Eine völlig verrückte Partie sahen 150 Zuschauer in Serkenrode. Ganze 13 Tore standen am Ende auf dem Papier. Serkenrodes 1. Vorsitzender Herbert Schmidt-Holthöfer war denkbar zufrieden: „Für den Auftakt ...


Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:30:00 -0700

Der HC Pustertal präsentierte heute mit Jerry Kuhn (Ex-Ljubljana) ihren neuen Torhüter. Colton Fretter wechselt in die EIHL. Jerry (Gerald) Kuhn (zuletzt im HN-Interview) kommt nach Bruneck und wird Goalie bei den Pusterer Wölfen. Der US-Amerikaner war ...

National Post

National Post
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:52:30 -0700

... Randy Penney Renfrew, Ont.; Shazia Hafiz Ramji Vancouver, B.C.; Amanda Terry Acton, Ont.; Cara Violini Calgary, Alta.; Jennifer Hill West Vancouver, B.C.; Linda Arnold Garibaldi Highlands, B.C.; Susan Smuckler Burlington, Ont.; Janet Fretter Surrey ...
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 03:55:16 -0700

Promoting to the rank of First Degree Black Belt were Candice and John Lawrence. Receiving Probationary Adult Black Belts were Mariam and Ali Dabaja and Ariel Fretter. “This year's Belt promotion was additionally meaningful because students graded with ...
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 09:38:37 -0700

... E. Central. From 6 o 8 p.m., those who bring their KMUW mugs to the event can have them filled full of custard by Freddy's Frozen Custard. KMUW will have mugs available on-site, too. The event also will feature music by Delores and the Pickin'-Fretter.

The Star

The Star
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 22:48:45 -0700

All Summer long, the Sheffield Steelers coach has tracked Colton Fretter, a 32-year-old consistent points scorer. After the patient pursuit, the 5ft 10ins Ontario-born forward has finally signed a two-year deal with the Elite League club. Steelers ...
Uinta County Herald
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:34:42 -0700

She is also survived by her children; Tammy Trimmel, Deana Fretter, Cassie Langley, Richard Brown, Christopher Langley, Natasha Lewis, Michael Lewis, Kayleigh Brown Abernathy and Tearanny Calhoun. She is also survived by her grandchildren; Byron, ...

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