We also know that by 1975 or 1976, most of these adjacent stores had been rebranded outright with the operator's actual name (National, Wrigley, etc.)
But I'm intrigued by evidence that in a few isolated places, the "Kmart Food" name lasted years beyond 1975. While scouring suburban Detroit-area newspaper archives for information, I stumbled upon this interesting article about Allied's late-1970s bankruptcy and subsequent struggles in the new decade:
Yes, there was still a Kmart Food store operating in 1981. Perhaps Allied retained the name because there was no established local banner in South Dakota to rebrand it under? Didn't stop them from rolling out Wrigley in North Carolina, though.Northville Record, 4 Nov. 1981 wrote: Allied Supermarkets eye future after winning bankruptcy fight
In order to stay afloat, Allied has shrunk from its 1967 heyday of 450 stores to its present size of 78 stores - 30 Great Scott! stores in Michigan, 47 Humpty Dumpty and Ideal supermarkets in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas and one remaining Kmart Food Store in South Dakota.
Kmart Food stores also existed in Canada...and their trajectory seems to have generally been the same there as it was in the US, with rebranding by 1975.
Yet, Charlottetown, PEI is a monkey wrench thrown into the machinery of consistency. According to directories, Kmart Food didn't even start to operate there until 1978, when the concept was already dead and gone in most of the continent! Even more unbelievably, "Kmart Food" continued to be listed in directories all the way through 1998...and as "K Food" in 2000, which is two years after Kmart itself had ceased to exist in Canada! Were the listings in error? Or was Prince Edward Island a final sanctuary for international retail concepts that had failed everywhere else? I wish I knew.
Were there any other places where Kmart Food lasted beyond the mid-'70s?