Sentiment Upbeat at Centurion

The sentiment among exhibitors and attendees at the ninth annual Centurion Jewelry show was upbeat and in general 180 degrees different from one year ago.

Don and Dorothy Vodicka, of The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, Fla., said their January 2010 sales were up considerably over last year, while Steffany Shelton of Kenneth Edwards Fine Jewelers, Little Rock, Ark., said, “We had a killer January.”

To be sure, many still fretted over the current state of the economy—some retailers even said January 2010 was one of their worst on record. However, many said they branched into lower-price sterling and contemporary metal lines to bring down price points, and others picked up bench business as a result of the demise of competitors.

Centurion president Howard Hauben estimated that store attendance was up more than 20 percent this year.