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Former Apple Retail Chief Ron Johnson Discusses 'Enjoy' Launch, Apple, Angela Ahrendts and More

Ron Johnson EnjoyRon Johnson, who served as Senior Vice President of Retail Operations at Apple between 2000 and 2011, today unveiled his new online retail startup called Enjoy Technology that will begin selling high-end consumer electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, speakers and drones. The Menlo Park, California company will sell about 60 products starting today.

Enjoy aims to differentiate itself from Amazon and other competitors by providing free personal in-home setup service for products, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. When you purchase a product, Enjoy will send a representative to your home to help set it up, with visits lasting approximately one hour. AT&T, GoPro, Microsoft, Samsung and Hewlett-Packard are among the early partners with the service.

Johnson was interviewed by CNBC today to discuss the Enjoy launch and a handful of other topics, including Apple and the company's current retail chief Angela Ahrendts, the future of physical retail and more. In particular, he offered praise for Ahrendts, who has led Apple's retail operations since May 2014, and noted that he owns an Apple Watch and thinks it's an "incredible product." He also said to "stay tuned" about the availability of Apple products through Enjoy in the future.

Kayla Tausche: It was bizarre to think about an Apple product launch without those lines around the corner. Stretching for miles and miles. I'm just wondering if you look at this new era for Apple products and Apple retail, and you think that there is a lot of change and that it's sort of doing away with the way you used to do product launches?

Johnson: I don't think that's true. I'm Angela's biggest fan. I knew her before she came to Apple. I had the chance to meet her in London. The teams love her at Apple. They love her leadership. She made it clear that the Apple launch was being launched in this way and future products might go back to something that Apple has done before. I wouldn't overread the launch as a change in direction. It's the right thing for this intensely personal products.

Courtney Reagan: You have 60 products on GoEnjoy.com right now from 11 companies. But Apple isn't one of them. Why not?

Johnson: I say stay tuned. We’re not talking about it but I didn't want, our customer would love Apple products. You know there's no doubt about it. And we serve the iPhone through AT&T. You can go to AT&T's website and buy an iPhone and use enjoy. We'll be embedded in on AT&T's website on May 19th. We do help with all the Apple products. Stay tuned when they might be on our personal commerce site.
Enjoy launched in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday.



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55 months ago

The $99 is for products you already own and didn't purchase through them. It's a little confusing.

https://www.goenjoy.com/pages/how-it-works



Not really a fan of this service. You're most likely paying full retail and I don't know that most people want or need someone to come to their house. I could be overestimating the general population though.


Ahem....
Rating: 11 Votes
55 months ago
$99 for product set up? I'd rather just figure it out myself...
Rating: 4 Votes
55 months ago

I don't think that's true. I'm Angela's biggest fan. I knew her before she came to Apple. I had the chance to meet her in London. The teams love her at Apple. They love her leadership. She made it clear that the Apple launch was being launched in this way and future products might go back to something that Apple has done before. I wouldn't overread the launch as a change in direction. It's the right thing for this intensely personal products.


Common sense prevails.
Rating: 2 Votes
55 months ago

She made it clear that the Apple launch was being launched in this way and future products might go back to something that Apple has done before. I wouldn't overread the launch as a change in direction.


Good.

I'd have been among the first in line, content to face a sold-out model I wanted and made a valiant attempt to get, and could return day after day if wanting it that bad.
Instead I'm looking at waiting over a month regardless.

It's OK to put some of the onus for early purchase on the customer. I'm much more satisfied with my own inability to beat a rush than leaving delivery entirely up to a supplier who in no way will deliver anywhere close to launch date.
Rating: 2 Votes
55 months ago

$99 for product set up? I'd rather just figure it out myself...


Isn't it free?
"Get FREE delivery and Expert help.
Your highly trained Enjoy Expert will spend an hour helping you get the most out of your new product."
Rating: 2 Votes
55 months ago
Interesting concept - In short, it's competitive pricing on the products they have (they will match lower prices) but you also get a free in-home visit.

I can see this being quite popular as it expands out. I can also see Best Buy taking another hit if this company takes off and expands.

There doesn't seem to be a downside to ordering from them vs another retailer. So I'm not sure of the mocking tone/negativity that is in this thread over the concept. So it's only rolling out in two areas right now with limited products. You have to start somewhere.
Rating: 2 Votes
55 months ago

Isn't it free?
"Get FREE delivery and Expert help.
Your highly trained Enjoy Expert will spend an hour helping you get the most out of your new product."


The setup is free if you order the product through them.

If you already bought it somewhere else then you can pay a standalone $99 for the setup/help service.

My question is, how are they going to make money? Probably from selling the standalone setup/help sessions. But realistically, how many people are actually going to pay 100 bucks for that? I'm sure you can find a fair amount, but it doesn't seem like a viable long-term business.
Rating: 2 Votes
55 months ago
Thats sounds great. I always wanted to invite a complete stranger in my home to show me how muy GoPro that has just two buttons, works. I prefer to open the manual or google and quickly check for the information that I need instead of scheduling a meeting with some guy, waiting him in my home, then inviting him, offering him a cup of tea while he explain me how dump I am to not understands the basics of the modern consumer electronics.

And if ou dont think that your granny deservs 30 minutes of your time to explain to her how her new toy works (which is basically the only group of people that actually need this), then you are bad grandson.
Rating: 2 Votes
55 months ago
It won't work for one or maybe all of three reasons:

1. There's not enough customers who will want to do this rather than buy at a discount price and work it out for themselves to make the venture a success. Not everyone is as wealthy as Ron Johnson and his mates.

2. There is just not enough margin between the discounted and full retail price to pay for someone to travel to a customer's house, spend an hour setting up a device, and then travel back to base. Not accounting for employee downtime when there is no setup scheduled.

3. One hour is going to be very tight to do all the setup that someone needs. I could understand it more if they said "the first hour is included but further time is chargeable at $xx per hour or part of an hour". Otherwise, either the customer is going to be left frustrated because their expectation of the device being "set up" is not entirely fulfilled, or margin is going to suffer further because employees take longer to do the job than expected.

I will be surprised if I do not see news reports in six to nine months time saying that the venture has been closed down. And the stakes for Ron are quite high with this - one failure (at JC Penny) is survivable, but two might irreparably damage his employment prospects. This is not the type of venture I would pursue if I were him.
Rating: 1 Votes
55 months ago

It won't work for one or maybe all of three reasons:

1. There's not enough customers who will want to do this rather than buy at a discount price and work it out for themselves to make the venture a success.



One to One
Apple Care's worthless phone support
Rating: 1 Votes

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