Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – February 2, 2015”
Alan: Hi, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com’ and today is Monday, February 2nd, and this is our biweekly massage chair industry update. I’m a little late, I should have been doing this last Thursday or Friday, and I apologize for it being a little bit late for those of you that were waiting on it. I was in California, Southern California, visiting some suppliers, and taking care of some other business down there, and I didn’t get back until Saturday, and by then I was too pooped, to come here, and do the industry update. So, today’s our day, and I’ll talk a little bit about my Southern California trip in just a minute. I had a great time there, visited some suppliers, and all in all, had a great trip, but we’ll talk about that in just a moment.
[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]
Alan: First of all, as far as stock goes, again, I’m not really familiar with too much stock, outside of Osaki, and I know that they – and for those of that don’t know, there was a – there’s been a strike, a dock workers’ strike, at the L.A. ports. I understand it’s clerical workers that are on strike, so they’re still unloading containers, but they’re not doing it nearly as much, and as regularly as they should be, and so they’re not up to full capacity. Osaki has some shipments, or some container loads, out there in the ocean, waiting to come in through the docks, and they’ve been backed up for quite a while. So, we’ve been expecting the OS-4000T to come in. It was supposed to come in last week, now it’s supposed to come in the tail end of this week, and we’re just keeping our fingers crossed because we’ve got about 10 orders of that chair that are just waiting to be delivered, and patient customers that’re waiting for this chair to arrive. The Titan TP-Pro 8400 is also on back-order, and that is supposed to arrive this week, and so you know, fingers crossed that all these chairs’ll come in, but that’s the stock issue. Osaki, I just found out this morning, are also back-ordered on the OS-7200H, except for the ‘Brown,’ they’ve got a few ‘Brown’ in, but all the other ones are back-ordered until the end of February, beginning of March, inventory management, a little weak, it sounds. Anyway, the other chairs from the other companies, as far as I’m aware of, are all in stock, and that’s good. Infinity, yes, Infinity’s good, Human Touch, as far as I know, is good, Panasonic’s good, Inada’s good, Cozzia’s in stock.
[SCREEN TEXT: Cozzia Visit Planned for June 2015]
Alan: Oh, speaking of Cozzia, I was going to visit Cozzia when I was in Southern California, but they have, they had some other events, or some other things they had planned, and the COO Mark Holmes – if you remember him, I interviewed him a year and a half or two ago on my YouTube channel, and you can check in to that review, or that interview, anytime – but him and their president wanted to be there to visit with me, and they couldn’t make it. So, I will be going back in June to visit with them, and spending some time with Cozzia folks, and I’ll talk more about that when I get there.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Line of Massage Chairs from Cozzia – Called Ogawa!]
Alan: Cozzia’s introducing a new line of chairs, mostly for online merchants such as myself, and it’s called the Ogawa line, if I’m not mistaken, O-G-A-W-A, and that’s supposed to coming out, if I’m not mistaken, and again, pretty soon, like in the next month or two. So, stay tuned for that, I don’t have any other information besides that, that they’re coming out with a new line, I guess you can just consider this a bit of a tease, but when that chair comes out, or when I know more about it, I will certainly let everybody on this broadcast know.
[SCREEN TEXT: Massage-Chair-Relief.com Now Mobile-Friendly]
Alan: Let’s see, oh, we just upgraded our website. We upgraded it to a more mobile-friendly, faster website, and you’ll notice our – well, if you’ve been in to our site, or in to our shopping cart – there are some things that’re, that’re more obvious, as far as the changes go, and one of them is the product pages. The product pages have bigger images now, they have a larger, they, we’ve taken out, we have a drop-down menu for the colors, the price is a little bit bigger, the ‘Add to Cart’ button is bigger, and it just looks simpler, and easier to use, and it truly is simpler, and easier to use.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Shopping Cart!]
Alan: Now, the shopping cart, when you add a chair to a cart, rather than a pop-up window coming up for the shopping cart, now it shows up on the side, so you can see what you ordered on the product page, and see if it matches up with the shopping cart, and then from the shopping cart, you can just click ‘Proceed to Check Out,’ and bang, you’re in to the check out. The check out form is different as well, very easy to do, we’ll be making a new – a purchase video, we have a video on YouTube that shows you how to facilitate a purchase on our website, and we’ll redo that because obviously the protocol is different – or at least, the protocol’s pretty much the same, but the layout is different, and the look and feel is different. We are in the process, in the next couple of weeks, of redoing the look and feel of our blog, so it’ll be a little bit more user friendly, I had some critiquing of it done, and it was a worthwhile critiquing. So, we’re going to have a new theme, and we’ll be changing some other things on there, but you’ll be a seeing a different-looking blog as well, more user friendly, easier to navigate around with, and whatnot.
[SCREEN TEXT: Titan Alpine Article on Our Blog]
Alan: Let’s see, oh, on my blog, I’ve written a couple of articles lately. Last week, I wrote a review on the Titan Alpine, and you’ll notice on our YouTube channel that I’ve got a couple of videos up already, the introduction, and the first time use of that chair, and it’s a good chair, I like the Titan Alpine a lot. It’s got the extended roller track, it’s got a good neck massage, a great foot-and-calf massage, including foot rollers, it’s got arm airbags that you put your arms in this way, as opposed to sideways, so it’s a little bit more ergonomically correct, but take a look at the review, it’s a good, long review, and it’ll give you a good feel for what that Alpine’s is like. When I do a review, it’s not just a review of the literature, or of the feature set, I give my opinion, based on my experience of the chair, because we have it here in the showroom, and I sit on the bloody thing. I know how it feels, and I can give you some feedback on what works, and what doesn’t work, with the chair that you may not notice immediately upon sitting on the chair, or by reading the owner’s manual.
[SCREEN TEXT: My Visit to Human Touch]
Alan: OK, now, as I told you, oh, I went to Southern California last week, we’re going there to, I went there to, of course, I went to visit with some people in the business, and some people in my business, my accountant is down there, and I got to have a meeting with him, and talk about some things. One of the things that we talked about, or one of the things that I did when I was down there was, we visited Human Touch in Long Beach, and we visited Fujiiryoki. Now, Fujiiryoki’s main office is up in Northern California, but they have a store in Southern California, in San Gabriel, and I went there. On Wednesday afternoon, as soon as I landed, I went to Human Touch, and I went and visited with Gino Martinetti. He’s my guy over there at Human Touch that takes care of me whenever I have a concern, or an order, or whatever, but also, David Wood, the CEO, dropped by, and we sat and visited for quite some time, and it was a hoot. I love talking to people in the business because, you know, I’m kind of a lone wolf, I work by myself, I’ve got some people that work for me, but they’re not really, they’re more task-oriented folks that take care of certain things that I don’t have the time to deal with. So, they’re not really well versed on the chairs, on the trends, on the new models, on the, you know, what’s going on in the industry, and talking to guys like David and Gino is wonderful, because they have insights in to the business, and in to what their business is doing, and what they foresee happening in the future, and I asked them for some advice, they gave me great advice. Anyway, I had a great visit at Human Touch, loved the visit, and they’ve got a nice facility in Long Beach, it’s a big building, they’ve got a huge warehouse, where the chairs are just, like you can just see, as far as the eye can see, it seems that way, but a wonderful, wonderful visit there.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Models Coming from Human Touch]
Alan: You know, they’ve got some new chairs coming out in the future, in the not-too-distant future, and they may be – I think, I don’t know, as far as what – if they’re going to be discontinuing any models, per se – but I do know that they’re introducing some new ones, and they’re quite excited about it. I get the feeling, and the impression, that Human Touch, with the introduction of that Immersion line, and the WholeBody chairs, that whole new line of chairs, I think that has kind of helped, kind of picked the momentum up for Human Touch, whereas it may have lagged a bit with all the other competitors coming in to the industry, because we’ve got a lot of massage chair companies in. When I started this business, I started with massage chairs about 12, 13 years ago in my chiropractic office, and I had a Human Touch chair, and that was pretty much the only game in town. Inada USA hadn’t been formed yet, Panasonic had chairs, but they weren’t overtly promoted or sold, Osaki, Titan, Infinite Therapeutics, Cozzia, Omega, all these were nonexistent when I started, so Human Touch was really the only game in town. Well, now all these other companies have come in to play, and it’s given them a run for their money, and I think the market share has kind of balanced out a bit, but Human Touch is still the oldest massage chair company in America. It’s 35 years old, and they’ve got their own designers, and their own engineers working there, and they design and engineer these chairs, and then they manufacture them in China. So, the chairs are different, like, you look at like, a Cozzia chair, an Osaki chair, and a Titan chair, and an Infinite Therapeutics chair, or an Omega chair, and they all kind of look, like they’re kind of beating around the same bush. Well, you look at a Human Touch chair, and they’re different, they’re more of an aesthetic, an aesthetically pleasing type of look, with massage chair functionality built in to this nice looking chair. They typically don’t have the gaudy arm airbags, or shoulder airbag mechanisms, so to look at it, maybe, from a distance, or even some of them up close, you’d never know that it was a massage chair. Well, this new Immersion line, we have the 4.0 in our showroom, a very nice chair, good bang for the buck, and really, a nice, new feature set. Well, we also just got the AcuTouch 8.0 Bali, and it looks like they’re calling it the HT Bali, I don’t know, I’m going to have to find out what the actual name of that thing is. By the way, the Bali now has – it just came out with ‘Black’ when we got it, a few weeks ago, but now they’ve come out with an ‘Espresso’ color, which is their typical brown color, a ‘Bone,’ and ‘Butter,’ and I don’t know what the difference between ‘Bone’ – but ‘Butter’ is usually kind of a yellowish color, ‘Bone’ is more of a white, or an off-white color, but they have those colors, and I don’t even have them on my website yet, because they don’t have images of them yet. I saw the ‘Bone’ one at the showroom in Human Touch when I was there, and it’s a nice looking chair, it’s a ‘Crème,’ it’s like a ‘Crème’ color, very handsome, it’s got the black accents on the side, and in the back, nice looking chair. Anyway, I don’t have any images of those, and I don’t even have the colors on my website yet because I don’t even have the SKU numbers yet, but I should have those up fairly, in fairly short order.
[SCREEN TEXT: WholeBody 5.1 & 7.1 Models]
Alan: Anyway, I sat on the, I sat on the, while I was there, I sat on the WholeBody 5.1 and 7.1, which are relatively new chairs. I think the 5.1 replaced the WholeBody 2.0, I think it’s called, on our website, and I like this chair, I mean, these chairs are under $2000. They’ve got extended track that – well, not extended roller track – but it goes down and hits the top of the glutes, and the top of the sacrum. It’s got a foot-and-calf massage, it’s got a roller massage in the feet, on the 7.1, and rollers in the calves, both of them have calf rollers, and that – there’s not many chairs that I can think of – I think the Infinity IT-9800’s the only other chair I can think of that has calf rollers. Well, these two chairs have calf rollers, pretty cool, and they have a new roller system called the FlexGlide, and I’m not exactly sure what that means. They explained it to me, but you know, I’m older, and I have six children, and four grandchildren, and my mind is just mush, and plus, I’m an Edmonton Oilers fan, so I’ve got nothing really going for me right now, in with the head. So, they were explaining it to me, and I would sit there, and I’d nod, and I’d go ‘Uh-huh,’ ‘Yeah,’ ‘Mm-hmm,’ but in my head, I’m going ‘What in the fat crap are they talking about?’ But these, apparently these rollers, this FlexGlide, it moves more laterally, like most roller systems will go up and down, and side to side. Well, these ones, I guess, are going, they’re kind of gliding outward a little bit, and coming a little bit more, covering a little bit more territory laterally, but I don’t really know how the rollers looked. I didn’t go see the engineering at the time, but it did feel very comfortable, it wasn’t really digging hard, it was more of a nice – it was a more, I don’t know, how would you describe it, it just seemed like a more, maybe a more – I don’t want to say soft, it wasn’t soft, it was more, like a more, it was more, maybe a longer stroke of massage, or something – but it just felt smoother, it felt a little kinder to the spine, not quite as aggressive as a lot of the Chinese chairs are. So, I loved that about the chair – oh, also what’s kind of cool about the 7.1, it has this perforated chair back material, and through the perforations comes warm air, so the chair actually has a heating mechanism that, that pumps out warm air, so I had warm air blowing up – not blowing up my back, but blowing on my back, and it warmed my whole back. It was really nice, like it kind of felt like I was, I don’t know like, like, I don’t know what it was like, but it was kind of cool, like it just had this nice, warming feature from this air, and I’ve never seen a massage chair with air being, warm air being blown on your back, that was kind of cool.
[SCREEN TEXT: Great “Bangs-For-The-Buck”]
Alan: So, anyway, that’s a nice chair, that WholeBody 7.1, and I believe the price of it is like, $1800, or something, which really surprised me. It’s a great bang for the buck, for the under $2000 price point, and you know, I always kind of have my favorite chair, more or less, or what I might call the best bang for the buck at each price point. You know, the $2000 to $3000 price point, you can get the Osaki OS-4000, which is a great bang for the buck, from $3000 to $4000, the Infinity IT-8500’s a great bang for the buck, from $4000 to $5000, you know, the Titan Alpine, or the AcuTouch Bali, those are great bangs for the buck. So, you kind of have these different price points, but under $2000, a lot of these chairs don’t have anything really remarkable, nothing that kind of leaves this impression in your head, but I got to tell you, I was pretty impressed with the 7.1, and I hope to have one of those in the showroom. I don’t have any room for it now, for heaven’s sake, I think we’ve got 16 chairs now, but anyway, pretty cool chair, and so that’s what we experienced when we were at, when I was at Human Touch.
[SCREEN TEXT: Fujiiryoki EC-3800]
Alan: Now, Friday morning, I went to Fujiiryoki, which is in San Gabriel, and it’s just their little store, but they’ve got their – see, Fujiiryoki is a Japanese company, it’s the oldest massage chair company, Inada, I think, is the second and third oldest company – but Fujiiryoki, I think, was the first company to come up with a roller, a moving roller track, on a, you know, a public, or a publicly advertised, or mass-produced basis, or publicly sold massage chairs, they were the first ones to come up with that. Inada were the first ones to come up with airbags, and so, but Fujiiryoki’s been around a while, and they’ve got a good reputation in Japan. Their chairs here are distributed by a guy that, I don’t, I’m not even exactly sure what his name is, he goes by a bunch of different names, and he has his own line of chairs called Dr. Fuji, which are Chinese-made chairs. Sometimes they get mixed up, like there’s a Japanese, a Chinese, and I get the feeling that sometimes, it’s all, you know, the waters have been muddied by all these different Chinese-made chairs mixed in with this Japanese chair, but it’s the Japanese chair I’m interested in. I’m not interested in the Chinese chairs, I got plenty of those, on my website, from massage chair companies that I know, and trust, and have dealt with for years, but the Fujiiryoki chair is a cool chair, so I wanted to sit in this chair, and I actually did get a chance to sit in it. You can read about my observations of it, while I was there, I just wrote a blog post, this morning, about that. The things that I remember most about it is that, the shoulders, it worked the shoulders really well, it had hand, like the Alpine, Titan Alpine, it has hand airbags, where you, or hand-and-arm airbags, where you put your hands in this way, it has 3D-roller massage, and I wasn’t feeling it much in the low back, and when I pushed the 3D-roller massage forward, it dug in to my back pretty good. It went down low, it hit the top of my glutes, and the peri-sacral area. The airbags in the foot and calf – it has three levels, or three tiers, on the ottoman, so when it extends, it’s like, it’s all these moveable parts, as the leg extends, and retracts – but it was kind of noisy, like when it was, when the airbags were deflating, you could hear this, chht, chht, chht, and it was a little annoying. I remember, I did a study, like a little case study here in the showroom, of all the different chairs, and we measured the sound decibels, of the sound of each chair, and like the noisiest chair, I think, was the iRobotics 6S, back then. Now, they’ve upgraded to the 6SL, and they’ve insulated all the airbag compressors, so it doesn’t, you can hardly hear it, but this was noisier than that one, and so that was interesting. The neck massage was very good, it was a good overall massage. Now, the chair is quite expensive, I can’t remember what the pricing was, but I think it’s like in $8000, $9000 price point, and that’s probably for the Japanese workmanship, and the cost of Japanese labor, and whatnot. The chair, I still, you know, it was a good chair, don’t get me wrong, but I, you know, for the bang for the buck, I’d probably get the DreamWave, over that one, but that’s a nice chair. I wrote a, you can take a look at the – on my blog, I just wrote about it this morning – take a look, and see what my observations were of the chair. Well, I think that’s about it, eh? I think we’re covered up for this week, and again, I apologize for being late. My schedule did not really allow for me to be here, and do this. Oh, I tried recording it at the hotel, when I was in Santa Ana, but my, the microphone wouldn’t work, and so I just said ‘Forget it, I’ll just do it when I get back home.’ So, anyway, that’s it for this week for the massage chair industry update, I will see you again in two weeks. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at any time, 888-259-5380, feel free to contact me through our Facebook page, through the online chat, through our YouTube comments section, through our blog, we’d love to talk to you, and if you have any feedback, or questions, or comments, please feel free to share those with us as well, and thumbs-up like or video on YouTube, if you found this helpful. Help us spread the word about massage chairs, share our video on you Facebook, and Twitter, and Google Plus, and LinkedIn accounts, we appreciate you helping us spread the word. Well, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ and I will see you again in two weeks. Bye bye.
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