John Wall is as American of a name as it gets. John is an English name, and Wall is an English last name. In fact, there are many American, Canadian, and British Walls with a Wikipedia page.
The most creative Wall with a Wikipedia page is the late Art Wall Jr., a professional golfer who won the 1959 Masters. And in Louisiana, there was a flashy banker and philanthropist by the name of Shady Wall. Shady also was in the state’s House of Representatives from 1948-1956 and again from 1968-1984. That’s not a nickname folks. SHADY WAS HIS REAL NAME!
But if you head across the Atlantic Ocean into Stockholm, Sweden, you’ll notice that there’s a John Wall store on Sveavägen 31 near the center of town:
So, what’s John Wall the store? Is it a shrine to the Wizards superstar? Is it anything basketball related? Not at all.
If you go to John Wall’s website (in Swedish), you’ll quickly find that it is a household goods store, similar to a Bed Bath and Beyond here in the United States. It sells hardware, bath fittings, vacuum cleaners, and the like.
When you click on the store’s About Us page, we find out that the store was named after a Swede named John Wall (pronounced “Yahn Wall,” not “John Wall” like the Wizards player) opened a hardware store in 1865. In 1990 however, a fire broke out in the store. It moved to a new location in 1994, moved again in 2007, and once again to its current location in 2014.
So next time you head to Sweden and think about Swedish brands, it’s not just about H&M clothing, Volvo cars, or IKEA furniture — even if IKEA is a Dutch company today just like 7-Eleven is Japanese.
In closing, I want to see John Wall make a cameo appearance at the John Wall in Stockholm one day if he hasn’t been there before. It will be quite a spectacle to see when that happens!