First International Cash Mob Day Brings Crowds to Local Businesses
The following article, ‘Cash Mobs’ Use Social Media To Splurge In Locally Owned Stores‘, was written by Kim Palmer for The Huffington Post.
Flash mobs have been blamed as a factor in looting during urban riots. But now a group of online activists is harnessing social media like Twitter and Facebook to get consumers to spend at locally owned stores in cities around the world in so-called Cash Mobs.
At the first International Cash Mob day on Saturday, wallet-toting activists gathered in as many as 200 mobs in the United States and Europe, with the aim of spending at least $20 a piece in locally owned businesses, according to the concept’s founder, Cleveland lawyer Andrew Samtoy.
“It’s my baby but I’m not a helicopter parent,” Samtoy told a crowd of more than 100 people gathered Saturday at Nature’s Bin, a grocery store that specializes in local and organic food, in Lakewood, an inner ring suburb of Cleveland.
The 32-year-old dreamed up the Cash Mob idea last year after spending time in Britain during summer riots that unleashed looting in cities including London, Manchester and Birmingham. His first Cash Mob, in Cleveland last November, brought around 40 shoppers packing in to the Visible Voice book shop, on a welcome spree in which each of them spent on average $40 within an hour-and-a-half. “We are kind of slow in November so I wasn’t going to turn it down,” said the independent book store’s owner, Dave Ferrante, who estimated he made about eight times his normal take on that day.
“We have a very limited marketing budget and it brought in people who wouldn’t have been here. It sounds corny but we really build a base one customer at a time,” he added.
After the original Cash Mob in Cleveland, Samtoy’s Facebook friends in other cities picked up on the idea and organized their own gatherings.
Samtoy can rattle off a list of friends from Los Angeles to Boston, from church camp to law school, who were the ‘early adapters’ of the Cash Mob phenomenon.
As well as the spree in Cleveland on Saturday, gatherings also took place in Kansas City and New York. Reuters was unable to verify independently if community shoppers splurged in other U.S. cities and worldwide.
Samtoy’s approach is to target one location bringing as many people to one site as possible but other cities have taken a different approach. “There is no science to it and there are also no hard and fast rules,” he explains.
He told the group gathered in Cleveland that he only has three rules or goals as he explains them: “You have to spend at least $20, meet three people you never met before and have fun.”
Cash Mob participant Amy Marke, from Independence, Ohio, came with her cousin because she wanted to support local businesses and was drawn to this event because the store does vocational training for disabled adults.
“I never do anything spur of the moment or crazy like this but I heard about it and had to come,” she said. Kelly Ziegler, co-founder of the Cash Mob movement in Kansas City, Missouri, told Reuters activists planned flash spending sprees in nine different locations around the metro area on Saturday. “Kansas City is really spread out. We have a really strong following on Facebook and there were calls for cash mobs at all of these areas. There are so many shops to hit we thought ‘why not hit a lot all at once?’”
“I grew up in a family with a small business. I know these small businesses can’t afford a million dollar ad campaign. When you spend $1 at these local stores that stays in the community,” she added.
And in Brooklyn, New York, activists noted how easy they are to organize. “It really doesn’t take a lot of effort,” said Park Slope Cash Mob organizer, Amy Cortese, author of ‘Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From it.’
With the large amount of locally-owned business and culture of entrepreneurship in Brooklyn she says it only made sense to get behind the Cash Mob movement. “It is surprising that no one had thought to do this before,” she added.
|Print article||This entry was posted by sschaefer on April 4, 2012 at 4:00 AM, and is filed under Tips and Tools for Retailers. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No comments yet.
No trackbacks yet.
about 1 month ago - No comments
The following excerpt, from the article Reverse’ showroomers browse online retailers to support local businesses, was written by Monica Guzman and published in The Seattle Times. After writing a recent column about the prevalence of showooming in today’s world of retail, Guzman received several replies from readers who actually do the opposite! They browse online for…
about 7 months ago - No comments
Many students will be off campus during the week of Thanksgiving, but why not take the opportunity to promote the value of your store to the surrounding community with Small Business Saturday? Now celebrating its third year, the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend is dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide. Take advantage of the occasion that’s…
about 10 months ago - No comments
The following excerpt is from the article 3 Tips for Maximizing Foursquare’s New ‘Local Updates’ Loyalty Feature, written by Nick Cicero, social media strategist, for SocialFresh.com. Have you taken advantage of Foursquare’s new product offering for merchants yet? The new feature, Local Updates makes use of Foursquare’s recently added Like feature and gives businesses the opportunity…
about 1 year ago - No comments
‘Buy local’ campaigns are sprouting up in communities across the country, reinforcing the importance of the brick-and-mortar stores that each city was built on. For the city of Berea, Kentucky, however, that idea is nothing new. “Our city is one built on the concept of sustainability,” explained Marty Wayland, director of Berea College Store. “The…
about 1 year ago - No comments
The following article, Survey Reaffirms “Buy Local” on Minds of More Shoppers, was written and published by The American Booksellers Association on Bookselling This Week. View the article and the complete survey results. A national survey conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in partnership with several business organizations, including the American Booksellers Association, has…
about 1 year ago - No comments
The following article, Groupon Offers $10 Credit for Shopping Local, was written by Courtney Rubin for Inc.com. Is Groupon the scourge or savior of small business? The online deals giant certainly is goodwill hunting this season by offering a $10 credit to the first 150,000 people who buy a local Groupon by Dec. 24. A…
about 2 years ago - No comments
Gain notoriety with students, enhance your image, boost school spirit and maybe even make the evening news — all in less than five minutes. ‘Impossible!’ may be your first response. But we promise it’s not. Engage students with your store and school by implementing a flash mob! A flash mob is an organized event where…