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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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2028 news items

Yorkshire Post

Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 15:48:45 -0800

Colton Fretter scored twice including a late winner as the Sheffield Steelers beat the Coventry Blaze 3-2 in the Elite League. The game was delayed by an hour as Coventry's team coach was stuck in traffic and the visitors made a slow start on the ice ...
Yorkshire Post
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 04:00:00 -0800

Head coach Thompson has made no secret of the fact he is a big admirer of the second-season import and, by coincidence, Fretter's absence did coincide with a mini-slump in form for the defending Elite League champions, although the biggest problem ...

Yorkshire Post

Yorkshire Post
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:09:45 -0800

A double hernia was subsequently diagnosed for which Fretter has undergone an operation. He returned to the ice for the first time since his surgery on Thursday, a sight Thompson was delighted to witness ahead of his team's encounter with Dundee Stars ...

Nottingham Post

Nottingham Post
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 10:45:00 -0800

The visitors thought they had made it 2-0 after 11.15 as Colton Fretter scored from an almost identical position to Dowd, but it was ruled he had kicked the puck in. Steelers netminder Marek Pinc enjoyed a comfortable start before he was called on to ...

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 05:12:29 -0800

And on the S.N.L. commercial, Hemsworth kidded the idea that he'd ever really struggled or dues-paid: “It didn't happen overnight for me. I bounced around Hollywood for days.” But eight months isn't no time either, especially when you're a fretter by ...

Chicago Daily Herald

Chicago Daily Herald
Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:48:15 -0800

"I'm a little bit of a fretter when it comes to all the little things because I feel like if you take care of all the little things, the big things will come," she said. "There's no sense in worrying about whether, 'Oh my gosh are we going to close ...

The Star

The Star
Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:00:00 -0800

With the Steelers already having injury issues with Tyler Plante, Mike Duco, Robert Dowd, Colton Fretter and Levi Nelson over that period of time, Phillips wasn't prepared to put himself in front of the team - he waited until the time was right for the ...

The Star

The Star
Tue, 24 Nov 2015 22:00:00 -0800

It is a leadership blow for Sheffield, who lost Colton Fretter to a similar ailment, and have been deprived the services of the likes of Tyler Plante, Levi Nelson, Rob Dowd and the now-departed Mike Duco in recent weeks. The speedy 10-season Steeler ...

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