I was pleasantly surprised the other day to see a post on the 3 Kittens Facebook page that Cash Mob St Paul had selected us as one of three possible locations for a Cash Mob on Saturday, May 25th. I was equally dismayed at the lack of understanding from my cohorts at the store about what a Cash Mob is and how it might help our business and community. So, I thought I’d give a go at trying to explain the concept here.
The concept is rather simple. Get a group of people together – rounded up generally by social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, Ravelry (for knitters and crocheters). Meet at the chosen small, locally owned business on the date specified. Bring $20 to spend at the store. Introduce new people to the area and the business. Bring an influx of cash to the business and possibly surrounding businesses. Potentially gain new long-term customers.
In reality, it works like this:
- Cash Mob St. Paul holds a vote to see which store in our area should be mobbed. The vote is done only on Facebook. Voting closes on Sunday, May 19th at noon.
- Once the votes are all in and counted, the chosen store (3 Kittens!) will be notified and a specific time on May 25th will be selected for the cash mob.
- Cash Mob St Paul will promote the cash mob on Facebook, while 3 Kittens will promote it through our own Facebook page, Ravelry, Twitter, our newsletter, etc.
- On the 25th at the specified time, anyone who wants to join the cash mob will meet near 3 Kittens with $20 in hand.
- The group will go en masse to 3 Kittens and spend their money 🙂
Some of the questions I’ve heard from my co-workers:
- Why would we want to do this? It’s a great way to bring new people to the store. It’s free advertising! Free publicity! An influx of $$! It doesn’t cost us anything! It’s a Win-Win!
- We’re such a specialty store? What will people buy? There are plenty of things in our store that even non-crafters can buy: totes and bags, Perfect Notion Cases (lots of uses), lessons, Gloves in a Bottle lotion, Soak (fine clothing and woolens detergent for hand washing), ruffle scarf yarn (so easy even non-knitters/crocheters can make a scarf), etc. Plus some of the Cash Mob participants might actually needlepoint, knit or crochet!
- Won’t it make the store super crowded that day? Cash mobs generally only last for a short period of time on the chosen day (a couple of hours maybe). So we’ll be busier than usual (hopefully) for just a portion of the 25th.
- Will we need to do anything special for the cash mob? While I don’t have a firm plan in mind yet, I think we should have some treats (treats are always good!) and we might have some items on special just for the time of the cash mob.
The official Cash Mob site says:
“The benefits that local businesses gain from successful cash mobs are not just a one-day influx of cash. New customers are found, old customers are reacquainted and a new appreciation for businesses that fuel a local economy is found. Every dollar spent locally has a 15 percent more positive impact on a local economy than the same amount spent in big-box retailers and businesses that are part of a corporate giant. Cash mobbers even have a little fun while saving the lifeblood of their communities, as many cash mobs gather after a shopping frenzy at a local establishment for food, drinks and fun, where old and new friends alike meet.”
So, long story short, I think it will be fun and unique to have a cash mob at 3 Kittens. But the only way to have it happen is if you vote!