CandK Market Inc., operator of Ray's Food Place and Shop Smart, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Brookings-based company will close 16 stores in Oregon and California, including the Shop Smart in Harbor. Ray's Food Place stores in Brookings, Gold Beach, Port Orford and 44 other stores in Oregon and California will remain open.

The company in an announcement on its website said it filed for bankruptcy because of increased competition from large discount stores, such as Walmart and Costco, moving into areas traditionally served by CandK stores.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a company to operate while it restructures, and CandK will continue to pay employees and operate as usual in the stores that are not closing.

As part of the store closings, approximately 20 percent of its current 2,500 employees will be laid off, according to the website .

CandK Market has struggled in the past year, closing stores in Yreka, Crescent City, Smith River and Walterville, citing increased competition from discount stores. In October, the company sold off its 15 pharmacies , including two in Brookings.

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