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Apple Store Mastermind’s Startup Will Sell You an iPhone and Set It Up in Your Home

Ron Johnson is back with Enjoy, an offline-meets-online retail startup.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

As Apple’s top retail executive, Ron Johnson crafted the Apple Store experience that helped redefine what a consumer electronics store could be. Now Johnson wants to deliver some of the Apple Store magic to your home.

On Wednesday, Johnson is unveiling Enjoy, an online-meets-offline retail startup that will sell consumer electronics online, and then dispatch an expert to deliver and set up your new smartphone or GoPro camera at no extra charge. Enjoy is also partnering with AT&T to offer the startup’s delivery and in-home setup option for free at checkout on the wireless carrier’s website.

Johnson believes that Enjoy is launching at the perfect time, as people increasingly expect products to be delivered when they want them and the idea of homes filled with gizmos connected to the Internet and controlled by smartphones gains steam.

“This is designed for products that have some degree of complexity, some degree of personalization,” said Johnson, who also worked for many years at Target and most recently had a short, unsuccessful run as J.C. Penney’s CEO. “Where a person with expertise can really make a difference in getting it up and running.”

At launch, Enjoy’s e-commerce site will sell popular smartphones and a small selection of other electronics, such as GoPro cameras and Sonos speakers. Customers will be able to pick a delivery time of their choosing, which can be as soon as four hours after ordering. They can also choose the location at which the Enjoy expert will meet them for an hour-long appointment that will involve setting up the device and even filming and editing a short video, in the case of GoPro cameras. Shoppers can also book a $99 one-hour visit from an Enjoy employee for help with a product they bought elsewhere.

Prices on Enjoy’s website are expected to match those of other retailers. Sound too good to be true? Johnson says Enjoy doesn’t have many of the expenses associated with running brick-and-mortar stores, so the profit margin from buying at wholesale and selling at retail gives it the room in needs to operate. Still, Enjoy will give up some of that margin by making all of its experts employees who receive benefits and stock ownership — an expensive departure from the scrutinized way most on-demand startups structure their workforces, as networks of independent contractors.

Enjoy will also get paid by AT&T each time an online shopper selects the Enjoy delivery option at checkout when buying a smartphone on the wireless carrier’s website. It’s not clear whether the AT&T relationship will subsidize the other part of the business or whether both are financially sustainable on their own.

While some might assume this service will be geared toward a demographic that skews older and more technology-challenged, Johnson made the case that it would target a broader group of shoppers, in part by publishing high-quality content and videos about products to help with choosing the right one.

“If you’re a young professional working South of Market [in San Francisco] and want the latest and greatest for the weekend,” he said, “you might want an expert to come and meet you on your Friday coffee break. That’s a lot more convenient than going to the store.”

The service will be limited to the San Francisco Bay Area, Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn to start. Enjoy has raised $30 million in venture capital from firms including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz.

Update: The story has been updated to correct the amount of funding that Enjoy has received. It’s $30 million, not $25 million.

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