Transcript of Video Titled "Massage Chair Industry Update - April 8, 2021"
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Alan: Hi, I'm Dr. Alan Weidner from 'Massage-Chair-Relief.com' and today is our biweekly massage chair industry update for Thursday, April 8th, 2021. Hopefully, you're enjoying Spring, and hopefully where you're at, you're getting away from the snow and the cold.
[SCREEN TEXT: Port of Long Beach Backlog Update]
Alan: This is kind of a slower time of the year for massage chairs, and you know, thankfully so right now, because as we've talked about, the blockages and the backlogs and the backups at the port of Long Beach for all the ships coming in with the containers of chairs, there are so many different factors right now that are slowing down the process of distribution. There's a shortage of containers in China and Japan, where they can't load up their chairs, even though the production is full, they don’t have a container to load up their chairs to ship on an ocean freighter to the United States, and then when they get to the port of Long Beach, they're backed up because there's not enough truckers to take, to haul the, to haul all the merchandise out of the port and to the various destinations around the country. And then, of course, we've got some of the local shipping companies are, it's more expensive now to ship chairs, so prices have gone up on some chairs, to handle the increase in the freight costs. It's really a very, very strange world right now, very odd, and I've talked about this before, and I've talked about it on my blog and my articles, but as a matter of fact, last week I wrote an article about the backlog at the Long Beach port, the port of Long Beach, and there's a picture, there's a, like a GPS, bird's-eye view of the port and you can see green dots, which represent every ship that is getting ready to unload, and you can see tons of these green dots off the coast of Southern California. You can see a bunch in the port, but you can see how backed up this is. This isn't something we're saying just to justify slow delivery on backlogged or back-ordered chairs, they truly are back-ordered. And around Christmas time, they said it was about a two-week wait, and then it seemed to slow, it seemed to speed up a little bit in the first quarter, but it, to me it seems as though they’ve slowed down even more now, and we're still getting delayed at least two weeks. So, for those of you that are expecting chairs, whether it's from us or from any other retailer, the suppliers do have problems getting their chairs to the port, and to their warehouses for shipping out to you, and that includes, boy, we've seen that, we've seen almost every company influenced and affected by this backlog. So, to those of you who have ordered chairs and they are back-ordered, we apologize for the long wait, and the continued wait, it's just very, very frustrating. But anyway, and then also, a couple weeks ago, there was a ship that blocked, that got kind of stuck in the Suez Canal, and there's a lot of ships that, a lot of ships and product that come through the Suez Canal. From what I understand, none of them were massage chairs coming from China, but that was another blockade, another thing to slow down the, you know, the logistics of shipping, the shipment logistics, international and worldwide. So, anyway, and there's a picture of, and if you go on to that blog post, and when I show the images of the port of Long Beach, you can also see the image of, the satellite image of the ship stuck diagonally in the canal, the Suez Canal. So, anyway, lots, it's just a very, very interesting time in our world, as you know, you know, COVID is kind of still raging, and even though vaccines are coming out in huge numbers and the availability is getting better and better, there are still surges of this virus and there are some countries that still are not getting great access to a vaccine. So, it's just crazy, and everything's just kind of goofy right now, certainly off kilter and out of balance.
[SCREEN TEXT: Infinity Imperial is Officially Done]
Alan: OK, so the Imperial, the Infinity Imperial is a chair that was very, I was going to say extremely, I wouldn’t say extremely, but very, very popular because of the price point. It was regularly $9999, on sale for $4499, and we sold them like crazy. They were clearing out that model, that brand, and you know, the Infinity Imperial model because the company that actually ordered all those chairs kind of, didn’t go out of business, but they had to shut down all their trade shows, you know, they go on the road and they sell these chairs at you know, home shows and conventions and whatnot. Well, they had to shut down, and so Infinity had all this inventory that they had to get rid of, and so they did, and then they ultimately did discontinue the model, and the last shipment is coming in, or it should be in, well, again, it's been backlogged, and it was supposed to come in in March, middle of March, now it's coming in next week. It's been delayed and delayed, but anyway, that, those are all gone. So, if you wanted an Infinity Imperial, those chairs are not going to be available to you anymore. And it was such a good deal, $4499 for a $10,000 chair, a good quality chair, it was really quite a deal. But anyway, we may have some information in the future that will help, you know, address that issue, that chair, or that supply, and that pricing.
[SCREEN TEXT: Online Appointment Calendars for Our Stores]
Alan: Alright, anyway, we've added, we're testing a calendar system, you know, we're moving away from, well, we had to move away from regular hours because of COVID, so we couldn’t just have our doors open any old time we wanted, and even though there are some places where it's eased, like Utah, and to some degree Arizona, and to some degree, Southern California, but we are still encouraging people to come in by appointment, so we don’t have a bunch of people in the showroom at the same time. It's not very often when we have a bunch of people in the showroom, but if we have more than one customer at a time, some people get really anxious about that. As a matter of fact, we had a customer that scheduled an appointment that came down from the Bay area last week, and we set aside time for them, my manager set aside time for them, they came in, and after a couple of hours, another, a customer that had come in before, came in to place an order, and that kind of freaked the current customer out, because they thought they were just going to, you know, not have to deal with other people that could possibly be spreading the disease, or spreading the virus. So, there was, it was a little uncomfortable, and so we try to book by appointment only. So, pursuant to that, you know, we mention on our website it's by appointment only, on our Google page for each of our stores, it says you have to put down hours, Google, I don’t understand why Google does this, but on the Google page, we have to put down hours, and there's no place there where we can put in by appointment only, it's you know, hours, 10 to 6. So, that’s a little confusing for some people, but we are pretty much by appointment, so we set up a calendar system on our Utah store, to try to experiment with it and play with it to see if we could make that work, and we're kind of working out the kinks, and hopefully we'll have a calendar up for each of the other stores within the next few weeks. But you'll be able to schedule an appointment either by calling the store or by going online and going to the product, or to the store page, which you can find on our site by going to the navigation bar across the top, and mouse over the Locations menu item, and it'll bring down the stores that we have. Anyway, we'll hopefully have those calendars up soon, but there's, we do have to, there are still some more things we have to, things we've got to work out, but it does work. It just, maybe there are some things we've got to work out better. So, anyway, just so that you know, there's calendars that are coming up on our, for all of our locations, so you can schedule an appointment by calling in, or by appointment only. Of course, excuse me, sorry, I was out of state over the weekend, or over the week, doing some business, and one of the places we were visiting had tons of pets, primarily dogs, and boy, my goodness, my allergies get really bad. Anyway, so excuse me for sneezing on the camera, or not on the camera, but sneezing in front of the camera. Anyway, so the calendars will help us to schedule appointments easier, call, schedule them on the calendar, or you could still, I mean, some people still come by the showroom hoping that somebody's there, but that doesn’t always work, and so we prefer the appointments, just right now in lieu of all that we've dealt with with this COVID business.
[SCREEN TEXT: Fitting Long Legs in a Massage Chair]
Alan: And finally, I thought I would just talk a little bit about tall people, or people with long legs. One of the issues that we have in our showroom is that there are, OK, first of all, I've beefed about this in the past, companies will say 'Our chairs will fit people that are 5' to 6' 4",' that’s usually a pretty common range, 5' to 6' 4". Well, when someone who's 6' 4" sits in a chair that says it's up to 6' 4", many of those chairs, the rollers on many of those chairs do not go all the way up to the base of the skull. They go up maybe halfway up, or two-thirds of the way up for a 6' 4" person, or maybe even less, and people feel that the chair is not really, it doesn’t really fit them, it may fit their body, but the rollers don’t fit, it doesn’t, they don’t reach up all the way up, and so that can be a little misleading. So, some people will call me, and I get this a lot, they’ll call me and say well, I'm really interested in, I don't know, what's an example, you know, maybe, well, I don't know, like an example might be like the Human Touch ZeroG 5.0, which I think it says it can handle up to 6' 2" or 6' 4", and it truly can handle a body that big, but it will not massage the neck, unless you slouch down to going to your neck massaged. Anyway, having said that, there are chairs that do handle, that the rollers do go up all the way for someone who's 6' 4" and 6' 5" and taller. So, like the Human Touch Super Novo can handle people up to 6' 9", I think, for the rollers reaching the top of the neck safely, I would say 6' 6", 6' 5", or 6' 5", 6' 6", 6' 7". And of course, people have different ratios of torso to legs, some people have a really long torsos, and some people have really long legs. I have shorter legs and a longer torso, so even though I'm only about 5' 9", I, when I sit in a chair, because, from the seat up, sometimes the rollers won't go to the top of my neck because I have maybe a torso of someone who's 5' 11". So, anyway, where was I going with all this? Oh yeah, that’s what happens when you get older, you have these senior moments when you lose track of what you're talking about, and you end up talking about things that you probably didn’t need to talk about, but anyway, I apologize, I digress. Anyway, some folks have long legs, the chairs will fit them, but it's not uncommon for someone to say you know, 'My knees are up too high, when I sit in a massage chair, I don’t feel like I'm relaxed because my knees are up, and the calves aren’t all the way to the calf wells, and so I can't make the legs go out any farther.' And an example of that one, well, we see a lot of examples on that one, but so but there are some chairs, like the Daiwa Supreme Hybrid, it can handle 6' 4" wonderfully. The rollers work great up the neck, but the legs only go out so far, you know, the Luraco iRobotics 7 Plus, I think that’s one of the few chairs that can go all the way up for anybody, any height. But all the rest of the chairs are more typical of the Supreme Hybrid, where the legs don’t go out as far. So, now, if you go with the default extension, leg extension, and you just relax, turn on the program, and lay back, your knees might be up high, you know, like a little higher, almost like you're in a small sports car, and that’s not uncommon for chairs that can actually handle the height of someone who's 6' 4" or 6' 5". Well, here's a solution for that: what you need to do is, of course, extend the legs out as far as you can, so the feet are out as far away from the chair as possible, but then if you're, if you find that your knees are still up, and your calves aren’t all the way in to the calf wells, lower the ottoman down. Now, yes, of course, you have to fidget with this. It takes a little bit more user, you know, user interface, to do this, but you can lower the ottoman down, and eventually, you know, if your legs are like this, and the knees are up too high, you can lower the legs down, and now the knees aren’t sticking up so high because you brought the ottoman down. That is a hack, if you will, for folks who love their chair, but they just feel like they can't get their legs out long enough. That’s a common thing, we hear that a lot, but that is a little hack for you, just if you’ve got a chair and you don’t feel like your legs are stretched our or relaxed enough, or the knees are too high, lower the ottoman down, lower that ottoman down, bring the, the calves will slide in to the calf wells, and your knees will come down, and you don’t have to be, feel like you're sitting in a Fiat, you can feel like you're sitting in a bigger luxury sedan, but that is something that we've seen quite a bit of. So, take that for what it's worth, it's a great help for you if you have that issue with the longer legs. Now, I think that’s about it for this week. There are some, I think over the next couple months, we have some things that we're going to be seeing in the industry that are, be coming out, including new models, and some, maybe a little bit of some new technologies, and we will keep you apprised of that as we learn about them. I will be visiting a couple of massage chair suppliers in the next couple of months. And of course, I will videotape and record and report for when I get back, but we will keep you apprised of these things. Right now, the biggest thing on everybody's plate is this backlog at the port of Long Beach. So, anyway, just be aware that you may have to wait a little while to get your chair if it is on back-order.
[SCREEN TEXT: Please "Thumbs Up" Like This Video!!]
Alan: But anyway, that’s about it. My name is Dr. Alan Weidner, and if you found this video helpful, please feel free to thumbs up 'Like' us on our YouTube channel. And of course, help us spread the word about massage chairs by sharing this video, and any of our videos, with your friends and family so that they might be able to enjoy the fruits of a massage chair someday as well. Anyway, I hope you found this video helpful, and I look forward to seeing you again in two weeks. Have a great day. Bye bye.
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