Massage Chair Relief on the Road!

Inada Worlds Best Massage Chairs
Inada Worlds Best Massage Chairs

Last week was quite eventful for me as I spent Tuesday with the folks at Furniture For Life (the parent company of Inada USA, Panasonic, and Positive Posture massage chairs) and then Thursday night driving from Salt Lake City to Cerritos, California to deliver 4 chairs to a customer.

I try to visit my suppliers from time to time, but I hadn’t been to Inada USA’s new showroom at their Boulder, CO headquarters. The last time I was there, it was just a showroom for Inada USA, but company president, Cliff Levin, has been very busy developing his business model which resulted in the formation of a parent company, Furniture for Life (FFL). That business model includes Inada USA, becoming the sole distributor for Panasonic massage chairs in the USA, and a new line of massage chairs under the name of Positive Posture…all under the FFL corporate umbrella.

There are lots of things brewing at FFL. I got to spend some quality time with Cliff, Michael Long, and Ian Hayes, the folks directly involved in growing the massage chair end of their business. They have some wonderful plans in the making, including some new chair prototypes that will be revealed at CES in Las Vegas next January. I can’t say much more than that, but there will be some exciting news coming from FFL in January. I hope to do a video interview with Cliff sometime soon to chit chat more about it.

Here is a brief video of my visit to the FFL headquarters.

After returning home on Wednesday morning, we learned that 4 chairs we had ordered for a medical clinic in the Los Angeles area had been mistakenly shipped to our Utah showroom instead of our California showroom. The chairs needed to be in LA by Friday so that our delivery guy, Domenic, could set them up at the clinic. You see, the clinic was having a grand opening on Saturday and those chairs were an integral part of the festivities.

There was no way we could reroute the chairs to be in LA by Friday, so I ended up renting a delivery truck, loading up the 4 chairs here in Utah and then setting off for Southern California with my son, Rob, as the co-pilot. We left at 9:45 pm on Thursday night and arrived at my showroom at 8:00 am the next morning. Needless to say our sleep and diet habits for the night were miserable. But, we handed off the chairs to Domenic and he delivered the chairs on time for the Grand Opening! My son and I both flew home Friday to culminate what I would say was the longest 24 hours of my life! You can see a few pics of the adventure on our Facebook page.

 

CES and Massage Chairs – 2018

CES 2018
CES 2018

I once again had the pleasure of attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week to check up on the latest massage chairs. Although there was really only one new model from our list of suppliers on display this year, it was still a blast to be there and feel the energy of the show. CES is a major event in the electronics world and it is packed with people, wall to wall, in every venue.

The weather was delightful, as it usually is in Las Vegas at this time of year, but inside is where the adventure was. I had the opportunity of touching bases with some old friends from Inada, Panasonic, and Luraco. It is always wonderful to reacquaint with colleagues from these great companies.

Panasonic, now under the quality umbrella of Furniture For Life (along with Inada, Positive Posture, and Varier), introduced the new MAJ7. This is the first Japanese designed/engineered massage chair that has foot rollers! I enjoyed the chair quite a bit…and the foot rollers were formidable. It looks an awful lot like the MA73/MA70, but it feels a bit bulkier and more padded. It felt very “cushy” when I first sat in it. It also preserves some of the well-liked features of the MA73, i.e. innovative arm airbag massage, heated rollers, and great segmental stretching programs. It also adds a “Core” auto program and the ability to adjust the intensity of airbags independent of each other (most other chairs only allow a gross, systemic change of air pressure to all airbags). I also found the roller massage to feel more vigorous and deeper than that of it’s predecessors.

The ottoman cannot be rotated to hide the calf and foot wells. Other than that, the chair is pretty similar to the MA73. No surprises. It comes in 3 colors: black, brown, and beige. It will be on our website in the next week or so and will be priced at $9995.

Infinity had two booths but only had their Riage X3 model at both booths. Human Touch had a small 10 x 10 booth that only displayed the Novo XT, which is a great chair to display if it is the only one you’re showing. Inada displayed their DreamWave flagship model, while Luraco brought all their models, including the newly released 3D L-track Legend model, the flagship iRobotics 7, and “Sofy”, their offering for a coin operated chair and home theater chair.

Positive Posture had their upgraded Brio. They have made some subtle programming changes to the original Brio after input from our staff. Originally they had the chair set up so that the intensity of the airbags and the depth of the 3D rollers were linked to the same intensity adjustment button. They have separated those functions. Also, originally the user could not turn on the rollers independent of the airbags in the manual settings. That has been fixed as well.

Here is the the video from my CES visit…

Las Vegas Furniture Market – Inada & Cozzia Visit

Las Vegas Furniture Market event
Las Vegas Furniture Market event

Las Vegas Furniture Market

Last Wednesday I flew to Las Vegas to attend the bi-annual Furniture Market. I went with the intention of visiting the Inada booth to try out the new Positive Posture Brio L-track massage chair, which I did. I also saw that Cozzia had a booth there too, so I dropped by to check out the Cozzia Qi and the new Cozzia QiSE. Although it was hotter than blazes in Las Vegas, the experience with the massage chairs was quite beneficial.

I had recently ordered the new Brio massage chair from Furniture For Life (FFL), the parent company of Inada USA, Positive Posture, and Panasonic USA, for both of my showrooms, but was eager to sit on this latest creation from the mind of Cliff Levin, the President of Inada USA and FFL. I suspect that since L-tracks and foot rollers are all the rage in the massage chair industry, and since no Japanese massage chairs have those features, Cliff took it upon himself to find one for his company. And, find one he did. He outsourced the manufacturing of the chair to a reputable factory in China but much of the nuance and specs of the chair came directly as a result of the input from Cliff and FFL. The  resulting product, the Positive Posture Brio, was impressive to me.

I spent my time at the Inada booth with Ian Hays and D’Ondre Black. D’Ondre gave me the chair demo with explanations of the chair functions, while Ian and I talked shop about the industry and business. They were great and made me feel right at home. Thanks fellas!

It is a 3D L-track massage chair with a similar feel to what you would come to expect from an Inada product. The overall feel of the chair was very good, reminiscent of a Japanese-made chair. It was a relatively quiet chair and the quad rollers offered a good, intense spinal massage. We will have our floor models in our showrooms this week and I will then be able to offer a more detailed and meaningful review. You can check it out, along with features, specs, and images, here on my website…

Positive Posture Brio massage chair

Cozzia Qi massage chair
Cozzia Qi
Cozzia QiSE
Cozzia QiSE

My visit to Cozzia was equally as enjoyable, as I chatted with John Cribbs, Vice-President of National Accounts for Cozzia. I finally got the chance to see the Cozzia Qi and their first L-track chair, the new Cozzia QiSE. The Qi was being used for some company videos so I couldn’t sit on it, but I did get a chance to sit on the QiSE. It is a good L-track with some cool functions. It is also a pretty sharp looking chair. The Qi is a special looking chair and I was told that within 60-90 days it will come packed in 3 boxes instead of 1, so that now it will fit into pretty much all doorways (which it can’t do currently because of it’s 36″ width). Hopefully we’ll have one or both of these chairs in our showrooms within the next month or two.

Great visit this last week with some great people. Stay tuned for detailed reviews in the near future.

Dr. Alan Weidner

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