Massage Chair Industry Update – 02/12/2013

February 18, 2013
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
February 18, 2013
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

Massage Chair Industry Update – 02/12/2013

Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – February 12th, 2013”

Alan: Hi, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘,’ and today is our massage chair industry update for February 12th, 2013. And we’ll get off and running with the stock report.

[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status Update]

Alan: Inada supply is good, Panasonic supply is good, Osaki is back-ordered on the OS-7075-R in the ‘Ivory,’ the OS-3000 ‘Charcoal,’ the OS-4000 ‘Ivory’ and ‘Charcoal,’ and the OS-6000 in ‘Black.’ And they did not give me a time that they’re expecting these chairs to come in. There was not even an estimate, so I can’t give you that. The Infinity IT-8200 is back-ordered in the ‘Brown’ and the ‘Black.’ I understand the ‘Brown’ is going to be in stock this week, the ‘Black’ probably not for another three weeks, into the first week of March. And the HT-7450 is back-ordered on both colors, ‘Black’ and ‘Espresso,’ and that will not be available until late February, so later this month. So probably another couple of weeks. And that’s it for stock.

[SCREEN TEXT: Inada Sogno Price Now $7999]

Alan: The Sogno price went up, as I had warned you over the last number of weeks. February 1st, the price went up to $7999, and you know what’s amazing is that chair continues to be a top seller. And every time the price goes up, I think to myself, ‘Well, that’s it, that’s the last of it, the Sogno is now going to start taking a dip,’ but it continues to sell and it’ll be interesting to see what the lifespan of this chair is over the next year or two or three. But right now, a very, very popular, top-selling chair. We like the Inada Sogno a lot, not just because it sells a lot but because it is a very good chair.

[SCREEN TEXT: My January Visit to the Las Vegas Furniture Market]

Alan: You know, a couple weeks ago I went to Vegas for the Furniture Market, and I had reported back, when I went in August and I went again last month in January, and I visited with Cliff Levin from Inada USA, and I got to sit on some chairs over there and visit with Cliff and I had a wonderful time talking about the Inada Sogno. They have no plans of changing the Inada Sogno. I get asked that question a lot, I continue to ask Cliff that, and there’s no plans to change the Inada Sogno. It seems as though the Inada YuMe sales are starting to go up more and more, and it’s a more affordable chair, not quite as elaborate in its feature set as the Sogno, but the YuMe is starting to pick up some speed and some momentum. It’s a nice chair. I have one video out on it, introducing it, an introduction video, but I also have a couple other videos coming out in the weeks to come dealing with the YuMe and some of the features that it has.

[SCREEN TEXT: Mark Holmes, COO of Cozzia Massage Chairs]

Alan: When I was there in Las Vegas also, at the Furniture Market, I went to meet with a fellow from the Cozzia massage chair company who was there, and he was the national sales guy. But when I was there, I ended up talking to the COO, a guy named Mark Holmes, who is from China and he’s an Aussie with Chinese ancestry. And the guy is kind of the Cozzia head guy in China at the factory there where the Cozzia chairs were made, which is called Easepal, that’s the name of the company that creates the Cozzia chairs, and Xiamen Comfort Science is the parent company. And it was wonderful to visit with him. It was the first time I’d ever actually sat and visited with someone who is from the factory, from the Chinese side or the manufacturing side, and it was fascinating to talk to him. And we met for probably an hour and half, almost two hours, and I kept asking questions about what it’s like in China, who’s making what chairs. And there are things that I have stated as fact, like there’s three main manufacturing companies, these are things I had heard from other people inside the business here in the United States, but I had never actually talked to someone in China about that. And sure enough, there’s main plants over there where most of the chairs are made, some chairs are made in smaller plants. And we talked about quality of chairs, we talked about the progress of production, we talked about the possibility of the manufacturing of chairs being moved out to countries like India or Vietnam, looking for lower costs of labor, but this fellow seemed to think that China was the place to be right now. They’ve improved so much in their production and their quality that he expects manufacturing to stay in China for a while. But anyways, we talked on an array of subjects including the Cozzia chairs, which are a lower-end priced chair.

When I went to the Market, I was carrying six models of Cozzia, and you remember we just introduced the Cozzia line to our website, and as a matter of fact I still don’t have specific information of the features and functions of the chairs. But I found out when I was there that they were discontinuing two chairs, the 16019, the 16020, so I came back home, called my web guy and said, ‘Take those two off,’ so now we’re down to four models and you can see those on the Cozzia category page and the individual product pages. But, a nice chair, very affordable, and they claim that they have a 1.5 or 1.7 percent failure rate, which is a decent, good failure rate. It sounds a little oxymoronic, but as far as failure rates go that’s pretty good. And as a matter of fact, I think it’s very good, and I invited Mark to visit with me on a Skype interview, and as you know I’ve done Skype interviews before with Cliff Levin from Inada and Jim Coppins from Infinite Therapeutics. And I asked Mark if he’d be willing to visit with me, and we’ve emailed a few times since I got back from Las Vegas, and we will be meeting via Skype towards the end of the month, he’s quite busy until then. But I’m looking forward to interviewing him, and hopefully we can touch on some of the subjects we talked about when we were at the store there in Las Vegas. But it was a wonderful visit, thoroughly enjoyed it. Mark was very gracious, very kind, really enjoyed picking his brain about what goes on in China. And boy, you know this company that creates the Cozzia chairs, the breadth of their operations is enormous and quite remarkable. But I really enjoyed that visit, so I thought I’d share that with you. I was only there a day and a night, had a great time, and it’s always fun to talk massage chairs with people in the industry. I love it.

[SCREEN TEXT: HT-9500 now the HT-9500x (no more HT-Connect Feature]

Alan: Let’s see, the HT-9500, and I mentioned this in a blog post some time ago and I may have mentioned it in one of the industry updates, but Human Touch is dropping the HT-Connect feature, which is the feature where you can download the Human Touch app to an iPhone or an iPad and then you can operate your chair, the HT-9500, from the app. Well, the chair is exactly the same except they have gotten rid of that HT-Connect feature, so the iPhone adaptability is gone. And now they call it the HT-9500x, and we have modified that on our website so we’ve added the ‘x’ to the HT-9500 and we’ve taken off the HT-Connect references. So that’s the only difference. The chair itself, the functionality of the chair, is all pretty much the same.

[SCREEN TEXT: Osaki OS-4000 vs. Infinity IT-8100 Blog Post]

Alan: I wrote a blog post last week. I wrote a two-part blog post comparing the OS-4000 and the IT-8100. These are two very reasonably priced chairs that are very well. The OS-4000 is very popular for Osaki. The IT-8100 is a new model for Infinity, and it is a competing model to the OS-4000. So, since it’s a competing model and since we get inquiries about those two chairs as lateral comparisons, I thought I would do the comparison of them and I wrote a two-part piece. And you can go ahead read that on the blog. But that’s helpful if you’re considering a chair in the mid-$2000 price range. Both of them Chinese made, both of them nice chairs, but there are certainly some differences and that article goes into it.

[SCREEN TEXT: American-Made Massage Chair Arrived Yesterday For Testing]

Alan: And finally, I’ve been telling you about this American-made chair, it just arrived yesterday. They sent me one to test and to experience, and I am really looking forward to it. We didn’t take it apart today because we’re meeting tomorrow, my delivery guys are coming and they’re going to unpack it and we’re going to record the unpacking and assembling so that when this chair is available on a wider scale, we’ll have this video for you so you can watch it and see how to assemble the chair. If it is complicated at all, we’ll be able to go over some of the details. However, I’m very excited about this chair, very excited to see how it functions, how it feels, excited to see how the quality is. And of course, we won’t know except maybe over time how it will be received in the market, and how durable it is, and what kind of warranty issues it’ll have. But this company is still working on things like the pricing and working on the warranty for the domestic market, and it’s a nice-looking chair. It kind of has a Sogno body frame, and you know that’s nothing new, a lot of chairs have that kind of styling now. But I’m interested in some of the features, interested to see how the chair feels. But I’m excited, I think it’s going to be priced somewhere in the $4000-to-$6000 price range. That’s a pretty broad, conservative stretch, but that is I think where they’re going to be focusing and I’ll know more about that in the weeks and months to come. I believe I’m going down there in April. They’ve invited me to come down and see the production and see what’s going on there and see the manufacturing of the chair there in their headquarters here in the United States. So I’m quite excited about that, but I have the chair, I’ll be unpacking it tomorrow and then we’ll start to test it and see how it feels, and on my next MCR massage chair industry update, I’ll go over that with you and share that with you.

You know, I think that is just about it for this week. This was a little shorter than last week, when I went on and on on my rant about customer support and whatnot for massage chairs, but thank you very much for watching this video. If you’ve found it helpful, I’d encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel and you can receive updates on subsequent massage chair industry updates as well as other chair review pieces. And I’ve got a bunch coming out here for the Panasonic MA70 in the next couple weeks and then we’ve got some more coming up for the YuMe and for the Osaki 7075, and so we’re busy, we’re diligent, but we’re getting them edited right now and ready for posting on YouTube. But we’ll keep you posted when those videos are available. And also, if you like what we’re doing here, please share us on Facebook, spread the word on Twitter, and we’d appreciate you getting the word out about massage chairs. Thank you very, very much. And until two weeks from now, I am Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief,’ have a fantastic day! We’ll see you, bye bye.


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