Most companies named after a person or family have a possessive apostrophe signifying ownership. Look at Kohl’s, Macy’s, Dillard’s and many more.Yet Wegmans, the popular supermarket chain that has developed something of a cult following in its region, doesn’t have one. It doesn’t keep its name singular either (like, say, Nordstrom.)
Wegmans had an apostrophe when it was founded by John and Walter Wegman in 1916, but it dropped it years ago, making the name plural. Why is that?
“It’s been missing in action since 1931, when the company incorporated and we simplified the logo,” says the Wegmans website. “Just think of it as the plural Wegmans, as in the many generations of Wegman family members that have built the company!”
Even if Wegmans wanted to revert its name back and add that apostrophe, it’d be quite expensive. Wegmans estimates that if it added an apostrophe to the sign on the front of each of its stores, it would cost more than $500,000.
That’s not counting all the changes it’d have to make on all its other signage, bags, products and more. Wegmans has changed its logo plenty of times over the years without putting back the apostrophe, but it had far fewer stores when it made the switches (aside from its 2008 rebranding.)
Wegmans has around 75 total stores now. Imagine if a brand like Subway — a fast food chain with around 37,000 locations across the globe — changed its logo? It would cost the company, and its franchisees, millions.
You get a sense of how pricey rebranding moves are when you see a company like JCPenney not only changing its signage, but its entire store layouts as well.
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