BROOKINGS — C&K Market Inc., which operates 60 grocery stores in Southern Oregon and Northern California, announced Tuesday that it has filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon.
Citing the need to address legacy costs, sell or close underperforming stores and resolve debt issues, the company says it intends to close or sell about a third of its stores and eliminate about 20 percent of its staff positions.
On the company’s website, a notice to customers partly blamed larger grocers and mega-stores for their declining profit margin.
“Traditionally, we’ve focused on serving people in small, rural towns throughout Oregon and Northern California,” the website message stated. “As competition increased from larger grocers and mega-stores, more people left their communities to shop in those stores. Sales declined in some of our stores, forcing us to realize that we could no longer operate profitably in some markets.”
The notice said that 16 stores will close and 44 will remain open. Ray’s Food Place stores in Bandon and Port Orford will remain open at this time, the website said.
C&K Market Inc. also owned Tiffany’s Drugs for the past year until it was recently purchased by Rite Aid pharmacies. Tiffany’s is transitioning into its new ownership, which is now expected to happen after Jan. 1.
The website also said the company will assist laid-off employees in their job search.
C&K’s operations are expected to continue as normal throughout the bankruptcy process, as it develops a reorganization plan to make restitution for a series of improper loans made with the company’s pension plan more than a decade ago.
C&K Market Inc. is a family-owned company based in Brookings. The company operates 60 grocery stores under the banners of Ray’s Food Place, Shop Smart, C&K Market and LoBuck$.