in Saint Paul
Tom Peterson is an American retailer, pitchman and television personality from Portland, Oregon. Peterson opened his first store in 1964, which grew to a regional consumer electronics, home appliance and furniture chain in the 1970s. His memorable television commercials and unusual promotions made him a widely recognized personality in the Portland area by the 1980s, leading to several cameo appearances in the films of Gus Van Sant. In the early 1990s, having acquired and been unable to successfully integrate a competing chain of electronics stores, Peterson filed for bankruptcy protection before reemerging as a scaled-down furniture retailer that offered minimal electronics. He continued appearing in his own commercials into the early 2000s, and the store's final location closed in February 2009.