Updated March 16: The cash mob at Appalachia Press was included in this USA Today story on the growing trend.
I decided to check out the cash mob at Appalachia Press last night to see what this latest trend is all about.
Mob isn’t an accurate word. The crowd – more than 100 people who showed up from about 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. – was polite and well behaved. Shoppers squeezed past each other in the 630 square-foot store with an “excuse me, please,” and store owner John Reburn said nothing was broken or went missing. He had his mother and a friend in the store helping him.
Reburn said he made 54 sales in 45 minutes.
Only the days leading up to Christmas can compare, he said.
What excited him even more was that about half of the people he saw in his store were new faces.
“To see people who have never walked through my doors was amazing,” said Reburn, who opened the silk screen and letterpress printing business on Salem Avenue in downtown Roanoke nine years ago. “They are impossible to get in my door.”
A small group of people waited outside to get in the store and attracted more shoppers who had been driving by and stopped to see what was going on.
At least one woman confused the cash mob concept with a flash mob. Reburn had seen the woman pacing the sidewalk outside during the cash mob. Toward the end she came in the store.
“When does all the singing and dancing start?,” she asked.
Roanoke Times photographer Rebecca Barnett and I snapped these photos. (If you expand the slideshow and click “show info” you can see captions and credits.)