MEDFORD, Ore. -- Under pressure from big-box competitors, the parent company of Ray's Food Place groceries has filed for protection in federal bankruptcy court, saying it plans to reorganize and close or sell a third of its stores.

The Medford Mail Tribune reported Tuesday that C&K Market Inc. based in Brookings is the region's largest independent grocery chain, including Shop Smart, C&K Market and LoBuck$ stores in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

About 20 percent of the 2,500 employees are expected to lose their jobs.

The company website said larger grocers and mega-stores had drawn customers from their communities.

The company also said it would tighten our corporate structure and shed legacy costs.

The company said last month it will sell 15 pharmacies in the two states.

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