Ron Johnson, ex-Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail chief and the creator of the Apple Store, has announced the launch of Enjoy, a tech gadget store that sells products online and then sends an employee to deliver ordered products and teach the consumer how to use them.
What Johnson calls "the world's first personal commerce platform," is meant to help people still learning about technology by offering a one-hour teaching session about the product anywhere the client wants, whether it be home, a coffee shop or even a park.
"People need help," Johnson told Wired.
The service is available in the San Francisco Bay area and New York City, along with parts of Brooklyn. The retailer sells everything from phones and laptops to cameras and drones.
Once a product is purchased on the site, the shopper can choose a delivery date and time for the teaching session. The sessions are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day and the scheduled time can take place up to two weeks in advance of delivery. Enjoy guarantees deliveries within four hours of an order.
For additional help with an item already owned, either by the user or by his or her friends and family, shoppers can order an Enjoy tutorial visit for $99.
The service is not intended to teach shoppers how to fix broken items.
"Our product is a person—it's an Enjoy expert—and we invest heavily in selecting people who would flourish in this position," Johnson told Wired.
Enjoy currently employs 127 people who work their own hours with salary, benefits and a stake in the company's equity. In cities where the service is offered, there are even "Enjoy houses," small warehouses where employees can hang out when they're not working.
Companies that offer products on Enjoy pay for the right to do so and in return get feedback on consumer concerns.
Johnson said shoppers are less likely to return a product after they have been personally instructed about its functions.
Though Johnson is remembered fondly for his contributions to Apple, he had a less successful stint as CEO of JCPenney (NYSE:JCP).
-See this Wired article
Ron Johnson leads $15M investment in Nasty Gal
Ron Johnson leads start-up focused on helping online shoppers
J.C. Penney is on the path to recovery, posts first quarterly profit since 2011
J.C. Penney to close 33 stores, slash 2,000 jobs
J.C. Penney comp-store sales rise 10% in November