Sorry for yet another “here in Buffalo” post, but I’ve found that on top of the very nasal accent and flat As – Buffalo is literally ground zero for the Great Northern Vowel Shift – locals apply the genitive or possessive case to most business names, regardless of whether the name is possessive to begin with. This, you get:
Rite Aid: Rite Aid’s
Home Depot: Home Depot’s
Burger King: Burger King’s
Panera Bread: Panera’s Bread
You get the idea. Sometimes, the extent of this borders on the ridiculous: “So, you got an Apple’s der?”, or “Go down Sheridan’s Drive, and take a right on Transit’s Road”.
Is this the norm in any other parts of the country or world? I’ve heard this is also a trait of typical Michigan English, but I never heard it much in Cleveland, another city with GNVS-accented speech and a large blue-collar population.
The one I hear most often is Kroger’s. I don’t know why, but it seems to be a 50/50 split between normal people who say Kroger and the loopy ones who call it Kroger’s. There is no 's in the actual name of the store so I’m not sure where it’s coming from and it drives me crazy.
Around here you only hear anything like that, though it’s actually an “s” to make it plural rather than possessive, when people talk about Hannaford grocery. I think this is because it’s a last name, like another grocery chain, Shaws, the home store Lowes, and the recently gone drugstore Brooks. Other than that, I’ve never heard anyone stick an S on a name like the OP is talking about.
Well, back in the day, we used to say “Eaton’s”, but that was the name used by the T. Eaton Company. Likewise with “Zehr’s”. And then there was the big flap in Québec when they wanted the name of Eaton’s to be “in French”, sans possessive: “Eaton”. In “Sears”, the last S is part of the name and is not a posessive. Other than that, I don’t think we here in Southern Ontario ever put ‘s after stores’ names.
For those on the US East Coast: I can remember when Friendly’s Restaurants were Friendly Restaurants. They changed the name in 1988, after the company changed hands… I always assumed it was because everyone was already calling it “Friendly’s”. (Somehow, it seems like an adverb makes a lousy name for a restaurant… it just feels weird to say “Want to go to Friendly for lunch?”.)
I do it, but most of my friends don’t and always call me out on it. So I just assumed it was a me thing.
I also do the “the _____” as well. But that’s only if I’m referring to a specific one of course! There’s THE Walmart that everyone knows, and then there’s any ol’ Walmart.
-And I too am from the great state of VA
A noteworthy exception, perhaps, is Walgreens which went from Walgreen when I first heard of the place to the current name without an intervening Walgreen’s. I always feel a little uneasy when making out a check to them not including the apostrophe. We shop there often, if it matters.
I’m from Pittsburgh, and I hear it mostly when the name of a person is the name of the restaurant or store. I think it’s usually out of ignorance at the name of the place. Well-known places like Walmart or Kmart don’t get the 's. But lesser known places like “The [name] diner” become “[name]'s” simply so that it remains a noun.
My family drives me crazy asking if I want “to eat at Benihana’s or Ichiban’s?” I repeatedly tell them that the names have no 's, and that one means “red flower” while the other means “first/best”.
But honestly, I can’t always remember which ones have it and which don’t. Like, is it Heckinger or Heckinger’s? No idea. But if the people around you do it for every store, then I think that’s pretty weird.
There used to be a department store called Hess’s. Yep, two “s” on one side of the apostrophe, one on the other. It was bought up by Macy’s (or Macy*s as their logo seems to suggest these days).
Since I’m here near Buffalo (and, no, not everybody uses 's at the end of places like Wal-Mart or Target, just the Cheektovegas crowd), I should mention my favorite local example…er, Favorite’s Pizza in Lewiston. Restaurant named by an illiterate schmuck? Nope, restaurant named after its owner, Mark Favorite.