In 1944, University of Michigan graduate Ollie Fretter opened an appliance repair shop with a $600 loan from his uncle. Fifty years later, Fretter Appliance had 242 stores in six states, with net sales of $545 million dollars. The chain ultimately went bankrupt in 1996, falling victim to appliance juggernauts like ABC Warehouse and Best Buy.
One of Detroit's
first video pitchmen, Fretter created probably the greatest advertising gimmick
in Detroit TV history when he pledged, “I’ll give you five pounds of coffee
if I can’t bet your best deal. The competition knows me, you should too.”
first Ollie gave away five pound cans of Maxwell House Coffee, but in the 1970s he
started pasting a specially created “Fretter House” label over the
Maxwell House can.
a good businessman, Ollie didn't give away a whole lot of free java. After
a ten-year search, I've finally tracked down one of the
illusive Fretter House Coffee cans. Anxious
to share my find with my internet pals, I have created a
miniature version of the iconic can that you can download and print on your computer.
A can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Tape or glue
Eat the soup.
2. Peel off the label and wash out the can. (Watch for sharp edges)
3. Follow this link to print your Fretter House Coffee label.
(Adobe Reader is needed to open file. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your system, go here.)
4. Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut out your label.
5. Tape or glue the label onto your empty Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup can.
6. Admire your handiwork.