Ron Johnson (yeah, that Ron Johnson) is back. And this time he has his own business, a startup company called Enjoy.
Focused on providing the marketplace with “a whole new way to buy and enjoy technology,” Enjoy is an idea (like Uber) whose time has come. On the surface, you may sense that Ron may have stolen his idea (and his logo) from Amazon. But based on his technology and retail background, one could also conclude that Ron Johnson was destined to eventually establish this business.
Barely 10 days old, Enjoy – based in Menlo Park, CA – is selling high-end consumer electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, speakers and drones. Initially it will sell about 60 products under 12-15 main categories. Despite (or perhaps in light of) his Apple and JC Penney experience, there will be no brick and mortar stores. It’s all online.
And the USP for the new business – the thing Ron hopes will separate his new venture from other e-commerce stores – is service… very, very personal service. As in “you buy a product online and a company representative will deliver it to you and help you set it up and teach you how to use it” personal service.
Enjoy is all about selling “hand-picked products” that are “hand-delivered” to the customer, accompanied by initial “hand holding” while you are introduced to the technology. It’s personal. But is it for everybody?
I debated with my son (the millennial) last night that this idea can serve both ends of the spectrum, delivering Millennials the type of e-commerce shopping and personalized service (have it your way) they prefer, while also giving Baby Boomers the tech education many of them need to set up and use the technology. That’s a win-win for Enjoy.
But that assumes you buy into the idea that Millennials want to have a company representative deliver a product to them. As my son put it, “This is the complete opposite of how we shop. We want to do our own research with minimal human interaction.” And Baby Boomers still like to go to the store and touch and feel products. So there are those issues.
Still, you have to admit that the world is evolving every day. If I told you five years ago you would prefer to have some untrained stranger pick you up in his or her car as an alternative to hailing a taxi, you would have laughed at me. So, maybe now it’s Ron Johnson’s turn to laugh it up… and enjoy.