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Tucson, Arizona—The Centurion Show, which took place for the Ninth consecutive year in Tucson, Arizona, running from January 31 through February 2, 2010, offered an extensive, surround-sound experience for its invited retail store guests and many of their key designers and manufacturers.

The sold-out Collection Floor featuring more than 100 salons was busy for all three show days, providing a marked contrast to the 2009 show, which suffered from a Holiday 2008 that for many better retailers was the worst they had seen in more than 60 years. This year, store attendance surged by 14% to 206 retail operations, despite the show’s being more selective with its retailer invitations. But the attendance wasn’t the only thing that spiked. According to reports from most retailers and exhibitors, 2009 was more of an aberration and at Centurion 2010 the stores were back to the full-year planning and restocking missions that have long characterized their buying at the invitationonly

“At Centurion this January I re-engaged with old friends, met with new designers that were fresh and fun, and enjoyed the signature laid-back atmosphere of Centurion,” said Cathy Tivol, owner of Tivol’s, based in Kansas City, MO. “It’s a pleasure when we find new designers that we look forward to
showcase in our stores.”

“We saw a really good shift in the attitude of the retailers — everyone was ready to do business,” noted Jeff Feero, managing partner of designer Alex Sepkus. “There was a generally upbeat feeling. We had a good number of brand new customers. It was a really nice way to kickoff the new year,” he added. “Centurion is a really high-quality place to do business.”

“It was humbling to see the retailers come in and spend their money with us,” echoed Fred Makhlouf, owner with his brother Simon of designer Eli Jewels. “It was really well attended; they all came to do business, not just to look. We had our best show yet.” Makhlouf added, “And the Saints won, couldn’t have had a better week.”

“I did a lot of looking and some buying and I also did some notations for purchases for the next 60 to 90 days,” said Jim Rosenheim, owner, Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, D.C. “It was my first show — I loved the intimacy; it was relaxed and casual. A goodly number of people I do business with were there
and I could see their new products. I saw a few new people and made some contacts that will be valuable throughout the rest of the year.”

“The Centurion show once again beat our expectations,” said Alberto Petochi, senior vice president, Roberto Coin USA. “We were glad to see so many retailers coming to Tucson with good news about the past Holiday season and ready to re-stock the basics and willing to try some new collections.”

“We were looking to buy, plan and see new styles,” said Andre Vorster, buyer for R.D. Eiseman, Dallas, TX. “The show is extremely valuable. It has a great atmosphere, good food and very relaxed. We like the individual salons; while they are close, you don’t feel like you’re on top of each other. We’ve attended several times and we’ve always enjoyed the Centurion Show.”

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