Last week shockwaves went through the grocery retail sector when Amazon purchased organic food chain Whole Foods Market. “Dreams can be powerful things,” says Whole Food’s CEO John Mackey.
“It was love at first sight,” he said. A year and a half ago, Mackey conveyed he had a dream that Amazon bought Whole Foods Market, and he told his wife about it when he woke up that morning.
“I dreamed that we merged with Amazon. I woke up, and I told my wife about it. And she said, “That’s crazy.” (LAUGHTER) And I said, “I know. That’s really weird, isn’t it?”
Here’s more of what he had to say and how the deal came into being, from the US Securities and Exchange Commission transcript of his address.
“How did we meet? It was actually mutual friends set us up on a blind date. (LAUGHTER) And— Jason Buechel and Ken Meyer and David Lannon and I flew up to Seattle a little over six weeks ago. And— it— we just fell in love. It was truly love at first sight. (LAUGHTER)
I’m very serious. It’s like we came outta there. We talked for 2 1/2 hours. I think we coulda 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.” They’re so smart. They’re so authentic. They say what’s on their mind. They’re not playin’ a bunch of BS games. And it was like, “This is gonna be so incredible.” ‘Cause we were talkin’ about the things we can do together, things that I cannot talk about today and won’t be able to talk about until this deal closes.
So— it’s been a whirlwind courtship. Because— little over six weeks after we met on this blind date, we’re— we’re f— officially engaged, (LAUGHTER) as of today. But like an old traditional marriage, where there are all kinds of rules and chaperones, we can’t consummate the marriage, (LAUGHTER) until we’re actually officially hooked up. This is not— this is not a Tinder relationship. (LAUGHTER) I got a feeling I’m off script. (LAUGHTER) But I do wanna communicate, A) I am, like, super excited.”
Mackey went on to ooze his enthusiasm for what Amazon would bring to Whole Foods Market’s table, so to speak.
“We do think our partnership with Amazon is gonna help us do that more skillfully and, hopefully, faster.
This is also gonna permit us— it’s gonna be such a good thing for our customers. And although I can’t tell you all the amazing things that’s gonna happen over time— one thing I absolutely love, love so much about Amazon is they think long term.
They have had the courage that almost no other public company has had the courage to, basically, resist the drumbeat of short-term, quarterly earnings that have had us trapped here for a couple of years, as our same-store sales— came down.
And so we will be joining a company that’s visionary. I don’t know if you know that— they were, like, ranked the number-one most innovative company in the entire world. I think we’re gonna get a lot of those innovations in our stores. I think we’re gonna see a lotta technology. I think you’re gonna see Whole Foods Market evolve in leaps and bounds.
It’s gonna be an amazing thing for our customers, the type of things that we’re gonna be able to do. It’s gonna be an amazing team for our team member base. It really is, for all of you ‘cause you not only have opportunities to grow at Whole Foods Market.”
The chief executive of the America’s largest whole foods grocery chain, which has been ranked for 20 consecutive years as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by Fortune magazine, also spoke about options for its staff that will come from its new parent company, Amazon.
“But over time, as the companies are integrated, there’ll be opportunities for many of you, if you are interested in them, probably workin’ for— Amazon. And they’re— they’re a global company. So it’s gonna be new, tremendous opportunities for the people in this room that I think you should just be really excited about.
I think that— I just wish I could tell you more. (LAUGHTER) I just can’t. I’m— I’m— I just want you to trust me. You guys know me. I got a great standing O. Trust me, this is gonna be— (LAUGHTER) this is gonna be— this is going to be such a good thing for Whole Foods Market.”
Mackey then went on to talk about his vision, a dream he had over a year ago that Amazon would buy Whole Foods Market, and how that very thing, had come true.
“This is kind of the dream come true. And I will tell you something. 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.” (LAUGHTER) And I said, “I know. That’s really weird, isn’t it?”
And then of course, I didn’t think about it again, until it’s like— I remember telling Glenda, “Glenda, do you wanna know something weird? I had this dream (LAUGHTER) a year and a half ago.” And so now, today, it’s coming true. So dreams are powerful things.”