I get to visit with Cliff Levin, President of Inada USA, a couple of times a year, but it is usually in Las Vegas at some trade show. Last night Cliff and his wife came to Salt Lake City for some business and we got to spend some time together talking shop and other things.
Last night we had a lovely dinner at Cucina Toscana here in downtown Salt Lake and talked for a few hours about all sorts of things. Man, those two know a lot about food and made the experience wonderful for Mona and I. The food was divine, I might add.
This morning, Cliff and I reconvened at the Massage Chair Relief showroom to talk massage chair business nuts and bolts. Of course, on behalf of so many people who always ask me, I asked him , as usual, about any possible upgrades to the Inada Sogno. I also asked him what new models they might introduce to the US market. He never tells me anything juicy that I can share, but reassures me that when news comes he’ll let me know right away.
Sogno sales were at another record high last year and continue to grow, despite being in the US market for 5 years now. It is a chair that has captured the imagination of the public (and other massage chair manufacturers!) and he sees no immediate signs of it slowing down. In fact, so far this year sales are up 20%. Amazing…really quite amazing.
Lots of folks have called and asked me about the Inada Duet, which is the latest model from Inada in Japan. I asked Cliff about that chair. There are no plans to carry that chair in the US anytime soon. He says the roller mechanism in the calves and seat are pretty cool, along with the independently functioning rollers on the back. But, as cool as it sounds and as much as we enjoyed talking about it, if it comes to the USA it will be a long time coming.
We chatted about the possibility of offering finance plans for up to 48 month on our website for the Sogno, which would help a lot of folks out who want the chair but don’t have that lump sum readily available to buy. I will look into that over the next few days and weeks. If any of you have an opinion about whether I should offer it or not for that model, let me know in the comment section below. I would appreciate your feedback. The merchant processing fees have seemed prohibitive to me in the past, but if you all feel it would be of value, I’ll seriously consider it.
Cliff also said that they have discontinued the i1 model, which retails for $4499 on our site. He told me that we could offer that chair for $2249 while the supplies last. There are only about 50 left (black color only!) so if this interests you, let me know and I’ll get you hooked up with that special pricing.
All in all, it was another great visit with my friend from Inada.
Dr. Alan Weidner