COLUMBUS, Ohio – Credit unions are teaming up with local businesses to boost foot traffic with spontaneous calls invitations to invade a small business and spend money, a practice becoming known as “cash mobs.”
The businesses selected for the mobs are alerted ahead of time to prepare for extra activity. People are encouraged to spend at least $20, which is what the credit unions suggest based on what they've seen from other cash mobs, although business owners are happy for any amount of activity.
The emerging trend is a new twist on the "flash mobs" that are spurred by social media and prompt spontaneous public events.
A cash mob here last week organized by the Central Ohio chapter of the Ohio CU League brought dozens of shoppers to the Peanut Shoppe, the second in a series of such events planned by the credit unions.
The first mob in the series took place last month at Weiland's Gourmet Market. Sales on mob day was reported to be 18% higher compared with the same day a year ago.
The cash-mob series will continue every third Thursday of the month until the end of year. Each month, one of the chapter's 32 credit-union members selects a business to support. The Peanut Shoppe was picked by Telhio CU, which has an office not far from the shop.