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August 9, 2016 10:00 AM, EDT

Tech Startup Enjoy Delivers Your Product, Teaches You How to Use It

Photo courtesy of Enjoy
Enjoy, a tech device set-up and delivery service, aims to make reading indecipherable instruction manuals a thing of the past.

The Menlo Park, California-based company offers 250 products for sale, from 26 retail partners. An Enjoy "expert" delivers the purchase, unpacks and sets up the device, then helps the client learn about it, in up to an hourlong visit.

The personal service has been available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and surrounding areas — and now has arrived in South Florida, from Boca Raton south to Miami, and as far west as Weston, the company said.

"Experts meet you at home, the office, local coffeeshop. We've met people in parks. In essence, we bring the store to you," said Tom Suiter, who co-founded the business with former J.C. Penney CEO and Apple executive Ron Johnson.

The setup service is free with purchase of a gadget through Enjoy. The customer chooses the time for delivery. With some products, "it can be as fast as four hours," Suiter said.

Through its partnerships, the company says it can offer products with personal service at a lower cost than at a store, where there are rent, inventory and other costs.

Enjoy's latest partnership is with AT&T, which allows its customers to buy devices such as iPhones and iPads and receive the free setup service.

Other products include cameras, smart speaker systems and fitness gear. Brands include Microsoft, GoPro and Canon.

Enjoy won't disclose specifics of its retail partnerships, or how it makes money, "but we know that brands see immense value in having a more direct connection with their customers," said Nic Corpora, a spokesman for Enjoy.

Enjoy faces some stiff competition in the consumer marketplace, including from Amazon and Best Buy, which also offers technical services through its Geek Squad, on the phone, at home or in stores.

While Best Buy had no comment on its new competitor, spokeswoman Paula Baldwin pointed to Geek Squad's experience in the business since 1994.

"Our legacy is grounded in being the first support team to recognize that consumers have unique tech needs, and these needs only get more complex as technology advances," Baldwin said.

Launched in 2015, Enjoy was inspired by Apple's Genius Bar, where experts help consumers with their iPhones and iPads. "Apple makes some of the easiest products to use in the world and still people need help," said Suiter, who has known Johnson since 1999, when both worked for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Johnson had extraordinary success in pioneering Apple's retail stores and its Genius Bar, according to a 2014 article by Fortune magazine. From 2011 to 2013, however, Johnson's much-publicized missteps in leading J.C. Penney resulted in plummeting revenues and declining stock prices for the retailer.

Still, Suiter said he had no qualms about starting Enjoy with Johnson.

Johnson has the ability to "get people to focus," Suiter said. "I have much respect from him in terms of his leadership."

Besides its new South Florida home of Miami Beach, Enjoy is opening for business this week in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Houston. Suiter said Enjoy has raised $80 million in financing from venture funds including Oak Investment Partners, which operates in Connecticut and California. Enjoy hasn't disclosed revenues, but Suiter points to the company's ongoing expansion as an indication of its initial success.

"In this hectic world, where people don't have a lot of time on their hands, why can't we bring the help to to them?" Suiter said, explaining the company's concept.

Enjoy customers, so far, are widespread in age, though more tend to be female, Suiter said.

"Millennials love it because of convenience and speed," he said.