Carbon Environmental Boutique in downtown Edmonton knew something was about to happen on March 10. The store received a tip that a cash mob was on its way over, so Carbon kept its doors open a little later than usual to accommodate the group of about 20.
Similar to the Internet sensation flash mobs, cash mobs are a public gathering of people. Rather than breaking into a dance routine, however, cash mobs gather at a small business and each mob member is supposed to spend about $20.
A blogger from Buffalo, New York is being credited for organizing the first cash mob last summer. The idea behind cash mobs is to support small businesses and create awareness about shopping in locally-owned stores. With the help of social media, the idea spread across the U.S. and into Canada.
A group in Cleveland has created a list of Mob Rules to help aspiring mobsters. (#8: The business must be within one block of a locally-owned watering hole, #9: Cash Mobbers must join us for celebratory drinks after the successful mob). The group has also claimed March 24 as “National Cash Mob Day.”
Edmonton’s cash mob organizers plan to descend on a local business every few weeks. You can track the group’s plans or make suggestions on Facebook.