Amazon-Whole Foods deal: whirlwind ‘blind date,’ then ‘love at first sight’

Whole Foods top brass were swept off their feet at a meeting with Amazon a month and a half ago, according to John Mackey, the Austin grocer’s CEO, who said he had an otherworldly premonition of the deal more than a year ago.

The $13.7 billion deal that is expected to bring Whole Foods Market into Amazon.com’s fold was the result of a ”whirlwind,” torrid courtship that swept the Austin grocer’s top brass off their feet. But it also included some otherworldly premonition.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, said the romancing began about a month and a half ago, when he and three other executives flew to Seattle to meet with Amazon. “It was actually mutual friends set us up on a blind date,” Mackey told Whole Foods staffers in a town hall meeting last Friday, the day the deal was announced.

“It was truly love at first sight,” he said. “We talked for two and a half hours. I think we could’ve talked for 10 hours. And — when we huddled together, it was like we just had — we just had these big grins on our faces, like ‘these guys are amazing.’”

Then Mackey delved into the realm of magical realism. “About a year and a half ago, I dreamed that we merged with Amazon. I woke up, and I told my wife about it. And she said, ‘That’s crazy.’ And I said, ‘I know. That’s really weird, isn’t it?’ ”

“So dreams are powerful things,” the executive said.

Mackey’s comments were included in a transcript filed with securities regulators Monday, as the world still grappled with the impact of a surprise merger deal that threatens to upend the grocery sector, one of the few major bulwarks of brick-and-mortar retail against the e-commerce tide.

Record high on Wall Street

Amazon is still basking in the glow of the announcement. On Monday its shares hit a fresh intraday high, opening at $1,017 — a record according to Google Finance — although they closed at $995.17, up $7.46, or 0.76…

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