Amazon closer to opening new grocery chain: Report

E-commerce giant signs more than a dozen leases in the Los Angeles area

Amazon has reportedly signed more than a dozen store leases in the Los Angeles area, a likely signal it intends to open a chain of grocery stores.

The first few locations are expected to open in densely populated neighbourhoods and could be ready as early as the end of this year, according to The Wall Street Journal. Other locations are expected to open in Chicago and Philadelphia.

Speculation began earlier this year that Amazon would launch a new brick-and-mortar venture separate from its Whole Foods Market chain, after former Amazon employee Brittain Ladd told the New York Times: "“People really need to understand—Whole Foods is the beginning, it’s not the end. It’s not everything."

Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market two years ago for US$13.7 billion.

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