Amazon is reportedly planning to buy the troubled Chicago-based Chicago Restaurant Group, or CHG, as the company prepares to open its first grocery store in the U.K. The acquisition would be a major shakeup for the world’s largest online retailer, and would also be a blow to McDonald’s, which is still in the process of acquiring the Chicago-listed chain.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently told investors that the deal was a no-brainer, adding that he had already talked to CHG executives about their interests in the company.
“They have a great interest in CHG and are very interested in CHT,” he said, according to a Reuters report.
At the same time, Amazon has already taken a strong stance on a number of its business models, including a move to allow consumers to buy groceries directly from the site through the delivery app, Prime Now.
The CHG board had earlier told investors it was interested in acquiring the company because of its strong financial position and the strong performance of the company’s business, but the acquisition could end up being more of a test run for Amazon’s broader strategy of building its own grocery business.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is also planning to open stores in some other U.L.G. cities, such as Austin, Dallas, and Atlanta, which are all currently owned by Walmart.
Last week, Amazon also acquired the company behind a popular online shopping app called Shopify, which will be used to sell Amazon’s own merchandise, including clothing, electronics, and other items.
It is unclear when Amazon plans to open a store in Chicago, but it could happen in the near future, with Bezos telling investors last month that Amazon is “excited” about the city.
A company spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the deal.