Massage Chair Industry Update – 06/07/2013


Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – 06/07/2013”

Alan: Hi, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com.’ Today is June 7th and it our biweekly massage chair industry update. I’m a little late this week, it’s been a very, very busy week, lots of exciting stuff, so we’re getting a late start on the massage chair industry update. But we’ve got some good stuff to share with you today and I think it will be worth the wait.

[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]

Alan: As far as stock status goes, the only chairs I’m aware of that are back-ordered are the OS-7075 is out of stock for the ‘Taupe’ and the ‘Ivory’ for three weeks, the OS-4000 is out of stock on the ‘Brown’ and very low on the ‘Charcoal’ until next week, and everything else is in. I knew that the ‘Brown’ 7200H is back-ordered, but apparently that’s in so we should be good to go on that. There’s no other stock updates that I have received that show any kind of lack of availability of any chairs. I think Inada, Human Touch – oh, the Panasonic MA70 is still back-ordered. That one was supposed to be back-ordered until June; it’s been pushed back until July. Just the MA70, the other Panasonic chairs are available. As far as I understand, the other chairs are available.

[SCREEN TEXT: Father’s Day Specials]

Alan: Now, it’s Father’s Day coming up, and this is a big time of year for massage chair people because a lot of men buy massage chairs and people buy them for their dads on Father’s Day, so I’m going to reiterate what we have available for Father’s Day. We do have a showroom special; I can’t say it on a public forum what the special is, but call our showroom at 888-259-5380 and I or someone can tell you what the showroom special is and it’s worth your while to call. Also, Inada is offering a free 5-year extended warranty on their Sogno and YuMe chairs until Father’s Day. And Human Touch is offering the same thing, an extended 5-year warranty on their ZeroG 4.0 chair, just that one chair, until June 24th. And that’s important to know.

[SCREEN TEXT: Floor Models Available!!]

Alan: Now, I also have floor models available. I have an IT-9800 that we’re selling for $2500. We have an IT-8200 that’s selling for $2600 and an IT-7800 for $1400. And these are all very deeply discounted. We also have a three-month-old ‘Cream’ Inada Sogno available, and we’re selling that one for $7299. Now, the reason we’re clearing out the Infinity chairs is because I have to make room for more chairs. And this is what we’re making room for: We have an IT-8500 at the showroom but it’s in a box. I can’t unpack it until I have room for it.

[SCREEN TEXT: New Infinity “Iyashi” Chair Coming in July!!]

Alan: And also there’s a new chair – and I’m very excited about this – Infinity announced a new chair called the Iyashi, which is a chair they are going to be coming out with in July. I’ve seen the video; I wrote a blog post about it earlier this week and I would recommend that you go take a look at it, but this chair looks fascinating. And the reason it looks fascinating – well, the chair looks cool, it’s kind of a cool-looking design. It’s got a white exterior with either a red or a caramel synthetic leather interior.

[SCREEN TEXT: 59” Roller Track!!]

Alan: But this chair has got a roller track of 59 inches. The longest roller track of any chair that we carry is 31 inches: That’s in the OS-7075 by Osaki and the Panasonic MA70. This chair goes 59 inches, and the rollers come down the back and under the seat and massage the back of the thighs and the buttocks. Now, we’ve never seen that before and we’re quite excited about that. It’s just one long track, all rollers up and down the back and the buttock and the thighs, and that chair is going to be coming out in July.

Here are some other features about it. It has a zero gravity, and you can put this chair up against a wall. It can be half an inch away from the wall because of what happens when you recline the chair: The chair base slides forward 12 inches and then it reclines, so up in neutral, rested, parked position, the chair can be right up against a wall. When you turn on the chair and recline it, the chair will move forward first and that will pull the chair away from the wall, and then it will recline and the chair back will never hit the wall.

Also, it does a Thai stretch. Now, the only other chair that has a Thai stretch is the OS-7075 from Osaki, and that stretch is intense. I remember having a customer in the showroom who was an Asian lady and she had lived in Thailand, and I didn’t know what a Thai stretch was, so I said, “What’s this Thai stretch?” She said, “Thai massage is a very, very vigorous massage, and so I would assume the Thai stretch is very vigorous.” And I said, “Yes, the Thai stretch is very vigorous on the OS-7075.” So if that’s the case, then I would suspect that the Thai stretch on the new Iyashi from Infinity is going to be a fairly intense stretch.

It also has body scanning. It has lights on the outside of the chair, what we call chromotherapy. It has foot rollers, which is nice as well. So now you’ve got rollers down the back and under the butt and under the thigh, and you still have foot rollers, two per foot. It’s got a music system with synchronized music. The massage will be synchronized to the music beat, and that’s usually the vibration feature that they sync to the music. It also has Bluetooth and iOS and Droid compatibility, so you’ll be able to manage and control your chair from your phone, which is kind of cool. Human Touch had that with their HT Connect program on the HT-9500 chair, but they have since discontinued that. And I know that the iRobotics 6 from Luraco also has that compatibility with Bluetooth.

[SCREEN TEXT: $3000.00 Price Increase on iRobotics 6 from Luraco!!!!!]

Alan: Now, speaking of Luraco, I’ve got to tell you something that I got this week from them that has kind of shocked my pants off, if you’ll pardon the expression. Their price on the iRobotics 6 massage chair is $4,990, which is more expensive than a Chinese chair – you’re looking at about $1,200 to $1,500 to $1,600 more expensive than a comparable Chinese chair. And now the Luraco iRobotics 6 is assembled in America, a good portion of the chair is manufactured in America, such as the computer and electrical components, but a lot of the other components are made in China and imported. I think it’s cool that they have a chair that’s assembled here. Their customer support is fantastic, and I really enjoyed dealing with them as far as customer support goes. The chairs are nice: We’ve sold a few of them, people seem to like them, and it’s a nice chair. It’s a nice option for the Chinese-made chair.

Well, get a load of this. This week, they announced that they’re jumping the price up sometime in June to $7,990. They’re increasing the price by $3,000, and their cost is going up commensurate with that. So the cost on this chair – almost half of it is imported from China – the cost of this chair is more than the cost of the Inada Sogno, which is widely considered the world’s best chair and made with the best components in Japan.

So, to be honest with you, I’m kind of dumbfounded by that. So, $7,990, that’s essentially the same price as a Sogno. So a chair that doesn’t have the innovative features of the Sogno – like the Dreamwave technology in the seat, or the surgical traction device the way the Sogno has it laid out, as well as the iliotibial band massage airbags on the sides of the thighs – it doesn’t have that. And yet this price is pretty much eight grand for this chair. I’ve got to admit – and you can probably tell from the way I’m explaining it – I’m a little shocked by that. I have sticker shock. I’ve never seen a chair go up that price; I think the highest jump in a price I’ve ever seen was the Inada Sogno in 2012, the one of $800, and that shocked me then. Well, this chair is going up $3,000.

And speaking of that, I forgot to mention that it is back-ordered in the ‘Brown’ and the ‘Black’ until the end of June, so FYI.

[SCREEN TEXT: Warranty Review Article Series]

Alan: Oh, I may have mentioned this in my last update, but I’m writing a series of warranty reviews for the different chair companies that we represent. For example, the first one was the Inada’s warranty; last week I did Panasonic. I don’t know if I’m going to time this week to write a review. I’ve written a couple articles already, a couple of reviews on new chairs – one is the Iyashi and the other one is the Osaki OS-3000, which I’ll talk about in just a moment – but I’ll be doing a series of these on the companies that we retail and distribute for, so you’ll have a pretty good idea what the warranties really include.

And you know what, these warranties, you look at them and if you’re like me, I look at this legal jargon and I just zone out. I have no idea, and I just want to hear, “1-year parts-and-labor in-home, 2-years parts, 3-years structure.” That’s all I need to hear, just give me that summary. Well, when you read it, you’ll see that there’s more to it than that, and all the warranties are really limited. They’re not all “anything goes.” If you’ve got a dog that chews up your chair, that’s not covered – duh. If there’s damage to the chair in shipping, that’s not covered by warranty; that’s covered by the shipping company. So there are certain little things, subtle nuances to each warranty that I try to go over with you and explain in my own normal, Canadian vernacular terms, and hopefully that will explain to you what the warranties cover. And it will give you a little peace of mind, too. A lot of people ask about the warranties, they want to know exactly what they cover.

[SCREEN TEXT: Redesigned Osaki OS-3000]

Alan: Now, I had mentioned that I would talk about the OS-3000. Osaki has a chair called the OS-4000 and it had a chair called the OS-3000; they were the exact same-looking chair, and I believe even the color selection was the same. Well, there were some feature differences, some airbag differences mostly. They have done away with the old OS-3000 design, and it doesn’t surprise me because whenever you have two chairs that look exactly the same but have a different feature set, the consumer will always buy the more expensive one – almost always, 95% of the time will buy the more expensive one. So I think Osaki found this with the 4000 and 3000. The 4000 was a very, very popular chair, and I’m sure they sold a bunch of the 3000s but not at the rate of the 4000s.

So, they’ve redesigned the OS-3000. I show some pictures on the website; I don’t have all the features and functions yet, so all the old features and functions are still on there, but the pictures are on our website. I just wrote a blog post about it this week talking about some of the primary features of the chair, and here are some of the things you can know. This one also has a longer roller track; again, the longest we had before the Iyashi from Infinity came along, we had ones with a 31-inch track, which kind of goes down to the sacrum at the top of the butt. Iyashi’s is 59, Osaki’s is 36. So it’s 5 inches longer, so it will go down into the buttock a little deeper. I don’t know if it will actually hit the thighs unless you recline it and slide up the chair a little so it will hit your thighs. I haven’t seen the chair in person so I don’t have it to know how that will really work, but it does have a longer track and I know that this is going to become a trend for the future. And you know what, as a chiropractor – or former chiropractor – I have to say that couldn’t make me happier to see chairs that are starting to address the buttock and the thighs with a roller, not just airbags. Airbags are okay, but it’s kind of light and fluffy; it’s not like a roller going up and down your back. This is going to be great.

And here are some other things about it. It’s got a 180-degree recline; pretty much every other chair except for the IT-8200, -8500, and -9800 recline to about 170 degrees. Well, this one goes to 180 degrees, and when you’re reclined completely horizontal – even though it’s flat – you feel like you’re inverted, and you feel like your head is lower than the rest of your body. That’s actually a cool feature. It’s like a spinal decompression type of experience; a little inversion pulls the spine apart a little easier and relaxes the spine a little bit better. So, that’s kind of a neat feature.

They have chromotherapy also, so lights on the outside of the chair. What the lights do, really – they call it chromotherapy just to make it fancy – but what it is is these LED lights on the outside of the chair. The YuMe’s got it, Osaki 7075 has it, the 7200 has it – I think that’s probably it in a nutshell – and now this OS-3000 has it. What it does is it illuminates the room you’re in, so if you shut the lights all off and it’s pitch black in the room you’re in and you turn on the chair, if it’s a blue light, you’ll get this blue ambient light in your room. And it’s actually kind of cool; it’s a nice-looking thing. I really like the one on the 7200, which is blue only. The chairs like the YuMe and the OS-7075, the lights kind of change from blue to green to white or whatever. But on the 7200H, it’s kind of built into that strip along the side of the chair, and it actually looks cool besides the fact that it creates this ambient blue light.

There’s also seat and leg vibration in the OS-3000, so if you like leg vibration or any kind of vibration you’ll love this. If you don’t, maybe it will be something you’ll be able to turn off. Also, it has a new remote control design, and the remote control does look very different from what Osaki has come up with in the past. And of course, it has a body scan technology, which pretty much most of the chairs have nowadays. The sophistication of body scans kind of vary from company to company, and it seems to be a proprietary technology for each company, but body scan technology essentially takes your body, measures it, checks the shape of it, checks the height of your body and perhaps the width of your body as well, and it caters the massage to those body scan findings. Kind of cool – well, very cool.

[SCREEN TEXT: My Visit to Superior Massage Chairs in San Diego]

Alan: Okay, what else have we got for you today? You know, I went to San Diego a couple weeks ago; I flew down there to go visit the folks that have made Superior Massage Chairs. Now, you have probably have seen this here and there if you’ve done any homework on the massage chair front, and the Superior massage chair kind of has a Sogno lookalike style, but it’s got some nice features. One of the things that makes it very unique is that foot/calf massage wells usually will move as a unit, well this one moves one or the other up and down. And so I don’t know if you’ve ever stretched your calf muscles, but you do that by leaning against a wall, putting your feet flat on the ground, and leaning forward so that the back of your leg is getting stretched. That’s kind of the idea of what this is doing. It has one or the other foot come up, which kind of stretches the back of the calf while it’s being massaged. Pretty cool.

It’s a Chinese chair, and the guy who owns the company that creates it was in partnership with the guy who owns Elite Massage Chairs, Blair, and nice fellows on both sides of the coin, they’re both great guys, I really enjoyed my association with both of them. I had a wonderful visit and I spent a couple hours there at their place on Sorrento in San Diego, and I sat on the chair. We will be carrying it on our website. I don’t know if we will have room for it in our showroom; as I’ve explained already, we’re short on space as it is. But it’s a nice-looking chair, and for the price it’s right in line with the other Chinese chairs at that price point, a satisfactory price. I took some video of it, but I just have been so busy – and kind of lazy – so I need to get the video up and get it a little edited, and I’ll put it up on YouTube and put it up on our blog so you can kind of see the chair from the vantage point that I got while sitting in it or while we’re looking at it.

[SCREEN TEXT: Call me at 888-259-5380]

Alan: Well, I think that is about it for this week. That was a long one, we’re about fifteen minutes into this. I appreciate your patience and I hope you’ve found some value in what I’ve talked about here today. Again, if you have any questions about anything I’ve talked about or if you have any questions about the industry or if you’ve heard anything about the industry you want to share with me, please give me a call at 888-259-5380 and I’m always available to talk. If I don’t, my staff member will take the call and she’ll text me and say – if I’m with someone or if I’m in another meeting or indisposed – she’ll say, “Hey, so-and-so called, call them, they want to know this-that-or-the-other.” And I’ll get back to you usually within minutes or within a half-hour or hour. I love taking the calls of the customers, so please feel free to call – I’m always available for questions.

I guess that’s about it. So, until two weeks from now, this is Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ and I look forward to seeing you next time. Thanks, bye-bye.

Click this link to view this Massage Chair Industry Update for June 7, 2013 on YouTube.

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