Will Ron Johnson ‘Enjoy’ his comeback?
At one point Ron Johnson was thought to be a retail virtuoso, in part because of his use of the Genius Bar at the Apple Store. Later he became the poster child for what not to do while leading a company during a disastrous stint as CEO at J.C. Penney. Now, Mr. Johnson is back with a new retail concept. Will he reclaim his genius status or become the retail equivalent of Don Quixote facing down windmills?
Mr. Johnson’s latest venture is an e-commerce site called Enjoy. A San Jose Mercury News headline calls it "a genius bar on wheels." Consumers purchase from a selection of consumer electronics on the site and have them hand delivered by an expert who sets the products up and teaches the purchaser how to use them at no additional cost.
Mr. Johnson referred to Enjoy as "a personal commerce platform" in an interview with CNBC earlier this week.
"Our product is a person, and now for the same price you buy in a store, you can order a product from Enjoy and someone will hand deliver and spend up to an hour getting you up and running," he said. "So it’s meant for this new world we live in, which is going mobile, which involves a need for help."
Currently, Enjoy (www.goenjoy.com) has about 60 items available for purchase, including drones, electric bicycles and skateboards, Windows laptops, Xbox One consoles and Sonos speaker systems. On May 19, the site will also offer AT&T smartphones for delivery. The service is currently available in the San Francisco Bay area and will launch in New York City next week.
While there is no current deal in place to work with Apple, Mr. Johnson’s comment of "stay tuned" in the CNBC interview suggests that news on that front is forthcoming.
Enjoy will also help customers address issues with tech purchases made elsewhere. For $99, consumers can book a visit — typically an hour — with an "Expert" to troubleshoot a problem or for a quick training session.
- Former Apple retail exec Ron Johnson launches Enjoy, a Genius Bar on wheels – San Jose Mercury News
- Former JCPenney CEO is back with a new company, Enjoy – CNBC
- Former Apple Retail Boss Ron Johnson Unwraps New Web Startup ‘Enjoy – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
What do you think of Ron Johnson’s idea of Enjoy as a personal commerce platform? Will Enjoy be successful?