It’s tight out there. We all know it. We all see it. So pedicure chair manufacturers have made adjustments to help techs who are looking to upgrade existing pedicure equipment and for new techs looking to get started. Many have come out with new products that give techs mobility to go after dollars in offices, hospitals, and assisted living centers, while others have designed new chair features to enhance the pedicure experience and keep clients coming into salons. Manufacturers are also offering new financing options and releasing more economical models to help make chairs more affordable. Take a look at what some of the professional pedicure chair manufacturers are doing to help you in this tough economy.
t4 Spa Concepts
& Design LLC
Always an innovator in nail salon design and furnishings, t4 has come out with several modern-styled pedicure chairs. The most popular has been the iSpa, which features state-of-the-art speakers inside an egg-shaped backrest with an iPod dock so clients can listen to their favorite music while getting a pedicure. “We are working on even better features for the iSpa,” says Charlie Ton, CEO of t4. “We’re developing one that has a small laptop so the customer can surf the web, watch a movie on Hulu, or listen to music on Pandora.”
t4 uses SaniSmart jets and disposable liners to keep clients safe from infection, and the company offers classes for customers on proper cleaning procedures, business practices, and salon management. Ton teaches many of these classes himself, often in Vietnamese for his Vietnamese clients.
The iSpa, with iPod dock and hi-fi speakers, is t4’s newest and most innovative design. The chair’s conical back prevents the music from bothering others, so each client can enjoy her own musical selection while getting a pedicure.
Gulfstream launched its new all-in-one Multi Spa back in July, and according to sales executive Maryanne Pearson, “it’s really been successful for us.” In the Multi Spa, the pedicure chair is embedded into a shelving unit that houses retail products, and a table can be placed over the lap for easy, one-station manicures. “What’s great about them is they save the tech so much space,” says Pearson, “and the units are available with no plumbing, which is a big issue. So they really can help the tech save money because they don’t need plumber or electrician fees.”
Gulfstream has also lowered prices on some signature items and even covers freight expense for orders in certain geographic locations. The company is also running many buy-one-get-one free promotional specials to help strengthen its customer relations.
The Multi Spa is a great space saver in the salon, and requires no plumbing so it can be placed anywhere. The units can be customized with different bowl designs and arch pieces. From left to right are the arch models Keystone, Dome, and Pediment.
“We’ve really reinforced our focus on quality during the recession,” says sales executive John Yu, “and our Petra RMX SL model has done especially well lately because it offers a good quality chair at an excellent price.” J & A USA makes sure that all of its chairs are built to last so techs can depend on them not to break down, need service, or need replacing in a short time after purchase.
J & A offers a wide range of pedicure chairs to accommodate the needs of different salons. The Pacifica 750 model features a small footprint so it fits easily into salons that don’t have expansive floor space, and the luxurious Toepia LX has cushy leather seating and soothing LED lights. “We’ve been in this business for 14 years, and we’re not going anywhere,” says Yu, “and we’re still coming out with great products that can help techs in whatever salon they’re in.”
The Petra RMX has a dual-motored shiatsu massage with adjustable armrests and small folding tables so techs can easily perform manicures from the side. The sturdy chair has a sleek design and comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
Belava has come out with an economical and all-purpose chair that has a dock for the portable Belava Pedicure Unit. “The Indulgence Chair is lightweight, and it swivels and reclines so it makes a great all-purpose chair for salons,” says Natalie Zolotnik, manager of Belava. “We’ve had customers use it for hairstyling, facials, and pedicures. The response has been great.”
The Belava Pedicure Unit has also been successful for techs who opt for a smaller alternative to pedicure chairs. The unit has a heater to warm feet, and a massager, and when a Belava disposable liner is placed on top and filled with water, the unit becomes a warming, vibrating pedicure unit.
The Belava Indulgence Chair requires no plumbing, swivels 360-degrees, and reclines up to 150-degrees, making it a great all-purpose chair for salons. It has a foot rest above the dock for the Belava Pedicure Unit to create a full pedicure experience.
Continuum Footspas has a new portable pedicure device called the Pedicute to give techs mobility. Karen Raasch, sales and marketing director at Continuum, says, “We realized there is a huge untapped market available to nail technicians in the mobile sector. Places like assisted living centers and group and retirement communities are all ripe with opportunity to offer pedicure services. So we came out with the Pedicute to help techs reach those extra dollars.”
Continuum has also been marketing its top-notch financing to ensure clients are able to maximize their investment opportunities and ensure a reasonable monthly rate on pedicure chairs. Continuum works closely with Decada financing group, which prides itself in financing not just clients with 700+ fico scores, but people within the whole range of salons, from startups to large-scale.
The Pedicute is lightweight and can be transported easily. It requires no fill or drain hoses. You just add water from the sink into the sanitary disposable liners and you’re set to go. The Pedicute has three levels of vibration and heat.
Design X Manufacturing
To help make your salon stand out among competitors, Design X Manufacturing specializes in custom-crafted pedicure thrones that establish a distinctive tone and ambience. Felix Reyes, the west coast manager, says, “I tell all my clients that with this one piece of furniture you can change the entire fabric, look, and feel of your salon.”
Each chair is custom-made to the client’s liking. With multiple options on design, fabric, color, and size, these pedicure thrones work well into any type of setting and decor. The chairs are all UL-approved and feature an O² Sanitation and Jet feature, where water from the tub is continuously pumped to a filter and cleansed before returning to the tub. The entire cycle takes three minutes, and though not a substitute for sanitation, it does ensure the client’s feet are in the cleanest water possible.
The Monticello is Design X’s current bestseller. “It’s great because it attracts both women and men,” says Reyes, “The side-by-side positioning is great for couples and friends, but it has a console between the two seats so strangers can feel comfortable as well.”
European Touch has introduced the Yu Spa, a more affordable pedicure chair that uses a special lift to easily accommodate elderly clients and very tall clients. European Touch has also expanded its warranty program so customers can purchase an additional two years of warranty (in addition to the one included at sale) to cover any parts and labor required, bringing the total to three years of protected warranty service.
A new spa chemicals line called Solution has also been added to help techs give great care and maintenance to the pedicure spas. The line features a disinfectant to clean and sanitize the tub, along with sanitizing sprays and wipes to clean the chair cushions and eliminate any odors.
European Touch has expanded into salon furniture to help give customers a one-stop shopping experience. They make specialty pedicure thrones, manicure tables, towel warmers, sanitation products, and more.
Luraco specializes in colorful kids’ spas, with smaller sizes to fit children as well as attachable DVD players. To give the chair a fresh look, Luraco has now come out with glass bowl tubs and a vibration massage feature in the cushions of the chairs.
Luraco has also developed Magna Jet, a magnetic jet that can be removed from the tub, leaving a flat surface within the bowl that is easy to clean. “The actual Magna Pump then pulls apart to three components that are very easy to clean as well,” says Jeff Tooley, project manager and electrical engineer for Luraco. “The pumps are quite powerful and provide excellent water circulation.”
Luraco is currently developing two new enhancements for the Mini Kids Spa. One is a technician light that attaches to the chair for pedicures, and the other is an electronic control box that automates the filling of the tub and controls any LED lighting. The control box is also designed to work with other manufacturers’ pedicure spas, making them automated as well.
“One of the first things you do in a downturn is streamline operations,” says Nick La, general manager for Lexor. “We tried to incorporate that thinking into our pedicure chairs in the form of our new Smart Technology family.” Smart Technology is Lexor’s name for its newest time-saving and efficiency features that are being implemented in new chairs.
Currently there are three features in Lexor’s Smart Techology, but more are in production. There is autofill, which automatically fills the tub to the right water level; a universal file controller, which conveniently controls e-file handpieces from the side of the chair, with forward and reverse features and speed control; and Sani-Drain, which features the drain knob on the outside of the tub for easier cleaning within.
Lexor has introduced the V-Spa chair that has been getting rave reviews for its easy-clean footrest. The footrest has a simple and sleek design that is comfortable for clients yet makes sanitation and cleaning a breeze.
The brainchild of pedicurist extraordinaire Genya Vinokur, the Footsiebath mobile pedicure unit is an effective, convenient, portable pedicure unit. The Footsiebath weighs only 2.5 pounds and has a retractable cord for easy transportation. “We’ve introduced a disposable liner easy-access tray to hold the liner when techs fill it up, so now it’s easier than ever to refill and drain the unit,” says Footsiebath managing partner Sasha Vinokur.
The unit has temperature and vibration control, and a deep enough well to accommodate up to a man’s size 13 foot. It also has a vibration noise reduction system so it operates quietly.
The Footsiebath provides an excellent alternative to installed plumbed pedicure chairs. The company will be coming out with a brand new look for the Footsiebath in 2010 and is developing a number of new products to go along with the unit.
SalonTech launched the XO Series to offer more affordable chairs to customers. “We wanted to make it more affordable for techs but not compromise our quality,” says Michael Park, general manager of SalonTech. All the chairs in the XO series come with 16-function shiatsu massagers, pipe-free motors, silver nanotechnology bases, and technician stools.
“We redesigned the XO series from the original by taking out the air seat massager on the cushion and improving the chair design to be more efficient, and this helped us lower the price without losing quality,” says Park. The XO Series includes the Malibu, Pedijoy, and SpaJoy.
The Malibu XO is SalonTech’s most economic spa model. It features a roller massage with swing-up armrests and comfortable leather upholstery. The footrests are adjustable and the tub has a no-pipe whirlpool motor system for easy cleaning.
Pedicure Chair Manufacturers
USA (800) 435-5491
Canada (800) 463-0229
Design X Manufacturing
East US (800) 345-2924
West US (888) 345-2924
The Essential Marketing Group
(212) 463-0021 ext. 202
ITC Spa Inc.
(909) 923- 9249
J & A USA
LoneStarChair (AYC Group)
t4 Spa Concepts & Design LLC