Once again, I made the trek to the Las Vegas Furniture Market to visit with some of my massage chair suppliers. And, once again, I was impressed and amazed at the size and enormity of this place. It is quite a place. If you ever have a chance to go, by all means check it out. It will blow your mind!
I spent some great time with Cliff Levin, President of Inada USA, and had a wonderful visit with Mark Holmes, COO for Cozzia massage chairs. I just recently picked up the Cozzia line for my website and wanted to meet with a principle of the company, do an interview and become more acquainted with this product line.
My visit with Mark was particularly interesting because he actually works for Easepal, aka Xiamen Comfort Science, who is the parent company and manufacturer of Cozzia massage chairs. I have never met or visited with anyone who works for one of the 3 big massage chair manufacturers in China. This was my first time. It was fascinating to hear the massage chair perspective from the manufacturing side. I was so impressed with the discussion that I invited Mr. Holmes to do a skype interview with me, ala my interviews with Cliff Levin of Inada and Jim Coppins of Infinite Therapeutics. He graciously accepted. I hope to cover much of what we discussed yesterday in our skype interview for your enjoyment and learning. We will be scheduling an interview time shortly.
Here are my “takeaways” from my day at the Furniture Market yesterday:
1. Inada has no plans for a new model to come out anytime soon. Family Inada always has chairs that they are working on in Japan, but that does not necessarily mean that anything will be coming to the USA. Cliff will determine if there is a model suitable for the US market and, when there is, he will let me know about it.
2. No changes planned to the existing feature-set of the Inada Sogno, the price of which goes up tonight at midnight to $7999, FYI.
3. Inada has recently introduced a new line of zero-gravity recliners, known as “Positive Posture.” This new line includes two models, the Luma and the Duke. I sat in these chairs whilst in Las Vegas and they are very comfortable. Now, realize that these are NOT massage chairs but durable club chairs with the zero gravity feature. It is somewhat comparable and akin to the famous Perfect Chair from Human Touch, but more classic in design. The Perfect Chair is more contemporary in it’s design.
Cliff would like me to carry this new line, but it would be a departure from the massage chair niche that I specialize in. I promised to put some thought into it. Maybe we could add a new category to the website, called “Zero Gravity Recliners” and include the Posture Perfect line along with the two Perfect Chair models I already carry under my Human Touch banner.
4. No sooner had I added the Cozzia line to my site, when I learned last night that Cozzia is discontinuing the 16019 and 16020 models. That will drop the online availability to only 4 chairs. I was finally able to sit in some Cozzia chairs at their store at the Furniture Market and they seem like a decent set of chairs for the low price points. They have a new 618 model that will only be sold at brick and mortar stores which retails for about $4000. Seemed like a very nice chair and I think it will be quite competitive in the market at that price point. Heat, foot rollers, shoulder airbags (ala Infinity IT-8200 and Osaki OS-7200H), LED lighting on either side of my head, and intensity adjustment for the rollers are some of the features that I recall.
By the way, Cozzia has a marketing strategy for both online and offline/brick and mortar channels. The chairs that will be available to a limited number of online merchants (massage-chair-relief.com being one of them) will be different models than what will be available at the brick and mortar stores.
5. Cozzia is also introducing a new line of zero gravity recliners and they had them on display at the Furniture Market. Now, whereas the Inada chairs are zero gravity but more classic looking than the Perfect Chair, not really resembling them at all, the Cozzia zero gravity recliners look almost exactly like the Perfect Chair. It is quite a bit more obvious that they are going after a portion of the market that Human Touch has dominated for years.
6. I learned from Mr. Holmes that Cozzia’s failure rate with their massage chairs averages about 1.7%. Very good rate! I am told that Panasonic has a 0.5% failure rate, which seems unbelievable and which may be higher now that the chairs are all manufactured in China, but numbers like these are quite encouraging. I do not know what the failure rate is for the other companies I represent. Maybe some day I will get those numbers for you too.
Well, that’s about it. Oh, I also learned that while we were getting snow dumped on us ad nauseaum in Utah, Las Vegas was dry and very, very comfortable. I could have stayed a few days longer and not been sad about it at all!
Dr. Alan Weidner