Cash Mobs Boost Oklahoma Businesses' Bottom Lines

Wednesday, February 20th 2013, 11:01 pm
By: News 9

Quiet Main Street in Ardmore, about to get mobbed, by shoppers, armed with cash.

The mobsters climb onto a trolley and sing on their way to this month's lucky store, "We're the cash mob and we're here to say, we shop local every day."

The idea is to gather a group of people and randomly pick a locally owned business to mob. Each mobster is encouraged to spend at least $20. Most spend even more. Organizer Julie Patterson says the cash mob is a win-win for Ardmore.

"This is a lot of people who've been in this community for a long time that realize the importance of having our local mom and pops stay in business," Patterson said. "They're the ones supporting our community and we want to support them."

Cash Mobs are also catching on in Cleveland County. Native Roots Market was targeted by Norman's Cash Mob. Marilyn Koop came up with the idea after hearing about one in Ohio.

"I thought immediately I would like to do that," Koop said.

The grass roots movement has spread on social media, bringing a big boost to business.

Shopper Robert Yarbrough said, "I think it's great to support local businesses and support our local community and give back any way we can."

Store owner Matt Runkle said the benefits last more than just one day.

"You end up attracting a whole crowd you've never known," Runkle said.

And shoppers love the concept.

"I really enjoy checking the different places out," Ron Franks said.

Karen Chapman agreed, "It's been so successful. I can't imagine what we did before it."

Koop hopes other Oklahoma main streets will join in the cash mob craze.

"In any little town, no matter how big or small, individuals can get together and have fun and show how much they appreciate their locally owned shops" Koop said.

Native Roots Market has since moved to Oklahoma City.

Learn more about where the next Oklahoma cash mobs are happening.