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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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655 news items


Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:00:00 -0700

As one of Zeke's poker-playing pals puts it, he's a "natural born fretter. ... Moans like Job. If Job ever drew to an inside straight." Erik Tarloff knows how to play his fictional cards with insight and depth. The only change that matters is the one ...
Crain's Detroit Business
Sun, 06 Jul 2014 05:00:00 -0700

In the home appliance industry, local retailers have struggled in recent years to survive in a market rife with competition like Home Depot, Lowe's Cos. and Best Buy Co. Inc. Fretter Inc. founder Oliver "Ollie" Fretter, who died June 29 at 91 ...
Fort Frances Times
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:18:45 -0700

Winning $30 for June 29-July 5 were Dan Dorie (Emo), Tom Abma (Fort Frances), Nancy and Bob Fretter (Stratton), Jessica Woodgate (Fort Frances), Gerald Thurier (Atikokan), Greg Herrmann (Fort Frances), and Nancy and Bob Fretter (Stratton). Winning ...
The Bay City Times (blog)
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 10:34:08 -0700

You can look it up on YouTube. Prepare to be appalled. Well, this stinks. Ollie Fretter, the old pitchman for Fretter Appliances, which is long gone, died this week. He used to promise you a pound of coffee, or something like that, if someone beat his ...
Deadline Detroit
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 06:27:28 -0700

#Iamsodetroit that I was shocked to see that Ollie Fretter died the other day because I assumed he'd been dead since the 80s. I'm so Detroit that I went to David Ruffin's viewing at Swanson's Funeral Home and had to comfort my mom who cried so hard and ...


Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:03:45 -0700

Fretter/Serkenrode. Es war ein Anblick, der Serkenrodes Vorsitzenden Herbert Schmidt-Holthöfer ein breites Lächeln in sein Gesicht zauberte. Die hohe Trainingsbeteiligung. Trotz Urlaubszeit fanden 31 Spieler den Weg zum ersten Training der neu ...


Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0700

Fretter. Das war schon ein ungewöhnliches Vogelschießen, das den Zuschauern gestern Morgen in Fretter geboten wurde. Königsanwärter stiegen aus und andere dafür ein, eine Schuhsohle wurde abgeschnitten und die besondere Taktik von Christoph ...


Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:56:15 -0700

Eine Wundertüte ist der SV Serkenrode, man muss sehen, was vom SV Fretter dazu kommt und ob das passt. Auch Dünschede muss man beachten. Dass eine Mannschaft dermaßen durchmarschiert wie der FC Altenhof in der vergangenen Saison, daran ...

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