Quiz Results: Most People Confused How To Write Names Of Walmart, Popeyes, Lowe’s

Last week, we quizzed readers on the correct way to write the names of several retail businesses that abuse or play with punctuation. An awful lot of you gave it a shot and some of you did very well, but the results show that there is a lot of confusion out there for some of the country’s biggest retail brands.

The median score for the quiz was only around 40%, meaning that most quiz-takers were confused by a majority of the brand names.

In fact, only three brand names were identified by more than 50% of those taking the quiz: Walgreens (65%); Wegmans (64%); and hotel chain Loews (56%).

The positive result for Loews might explain the overwhelmingly poor results for home-improvement chain Lowe’s, which only 30% of people chose. More than twice as many people (62%) incorrectly selected the apostrophe-free “Lowes.”

Walmart’s many attempts to tweak its name — combined with the hyphenated corporate version of the name that the financial press insists on using — resulted in widespread confusion among quiz-takers:

While the correct “Walmart” did end up being the most frequently selected answer, it still only represented 36% of all responses to this question, making it the second-lowest score in the entire quiz. And the asterisked “Wal*Mart” was only a percentage point behind at 35%, followed very closely by “Wal-Mart,” which the company still uses for corporate dealings but which it no longer uses in its marketing or advertising.

Also scoring only 36% was the non-possessive “Tim Hortons,” which lost out to the incorrect (but more logical) “Tim Horton’s” (53%). This can be partly chalked up to the fact that the donut and coffee chain is primarily a Canadian operation, and partly to the fact that it just doesn’t make much sense.

Likewise, only 42% of people know that Popeyes lacks an apostrophe, which makes us wonder why the fried chicken chain just doesn’t add one.

Other results:
• 43% of readers correctly selected “JCPenney,” the remaining 57% was split almost equally between “J.C. Penney” and “JC Penney.”

• 45% of readers correctly selected “Kohl’s,” but the same percentage of people also believe that it’s “Kohls.”

• Only 36% of readers correctly identified “Ralphs” for the L.A.-based supermarket chain, while 53% selected “Ralph’s.” This may be due to the regional nature of Ralphs, but then why did so many more people correctly know the name of Wegmans, another regional supermarket?

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