Ron Johnson Wants Consumers To ‘Enjoy’ Smart Home

Among the early highlights of the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York, former Target, Apple and J.C. Penney executive Ron Johnson discussed how his new company, Enjoy, is helping to make electronics, including smartphones and, potentially, smart home products, more user friendly by providing a helping hand in setting them up, right in consumer homes.

In a way, Johnson and Enjoy are bringing the Apple Store into consumer living rooms.

Right now, Johnson said in a Big Show keynote session, AT&T is Enjoy’s biggest among several mobile device customers. They use the service to deliver smartphones to consumers via trained employees who then set up and help purchasers get acquainted with their new technology. The Enjoy employees also bring along accessories and can perform in-home transactions if customers want to make a further purchase.

Johnson said smart home products make sense as an extension of the Enjoy operation. Indeed, for many consumers interested in smart home purchases, and especially those who might want to buy more complicated or multiple products, having someone in the home to set them up and explain their use might overcome a technology intimidation factor.

Johnson said he would like to see Enjoy expand beyond electronics at some point into additional product categories. He said the focus would continue to be on premium products. However, he noted that the service isn’t intended only for the affluent. A broad range of consumers might find Enjoy to be an attractive option. After all, Johnson pointed out, the majority of consumers own a smartphone.