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Former J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson Leads Shopping Startup

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Ron Johnson’s next move will be in the world of e-commerce. The former Apple retail chief and J.C. Penney CEO announced on Friday that he has raised $25 million in funding for a new startup called Enjoy, slated to launch in 2015.

Few details about Enjoy have been released, however, the venture will aim to improve the online shopping experience and help online shoppers make decisions on new products. In particular, Enjoy is said to focus on delivery for high-end gadgets.

In an interview with Nasdaq.com, Johnson said Enjoy would connect shoppers with products in a similar way Apple Stores let consumers try out new products. Johnson said retailers like Amazon.com exceed at selling everyday products and delivering them quickly, but that they overlook the “human aspect of helping shoppers find the right products.” He told Nasdaq.com, “That’s when you typically want something more than fast delivery; you might want a little help. There’s a place for high touch in a high-tech world.”

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Enjoy has already recruited a roster of highly-touted executives, including former Apple retail vice president Jerry McDougal, Tom Suiter, the creative director known for his iMac campaigns, and former Facebook technology director Kunal Malik. In total, Enjoy has raised $30 million, with the latest $25 million coming from a round of funding spearheaded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Oak Investment Partners.

Johnson stepped down from his post at J.C. Penney in April 2013 after a 17-month run that saw the retailer’s customer base dwindle and sales drop 25 percent.

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