RochesterJune 13, 2012
Downtown readies for Rochester Cash Mob
By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer
ROCHESTER — A new kind of mob, armed with credit cards and cellphones, will take over downtown Rochester from 2-7:30 p.m. June 21 — The Rochester Cash Mob.
A “cash mob” is a group of motivated buyers who assemble at local businesses and purchase items and services from that downtown business district, according to David Spencer of Independence Innovations, the company that created the first Rochester Cash Mob.
While Spencer said cash mobs are becoming more and more common, he noted that the Rochester Cash Mob is one of the first in the country to use a shopper’s mobile or smartphone for text message advertising, special bargains and cost-saving coupons that move the mob from store to store.
“The cash mob phenomenon has become a national movement. It’s our understanding that some of the very first cash mobs took place in Cleveland, Ohio, and they were primarily directed at a single business to help provide an infusion of local shopper support,” he said. “We have taken a different approach to this event for downtown Rochester merchants in that we will be using digital media and social media to provide text messages to the cash mob shoppers that opted in. … Each cash mobber will get a customized text message on their mobile phone that will clue them in to the next extreme coupon opportunity provided by a retailer, and they will be asked to show that coupon to the retailer to take advantage of the offer.”
More than 100 shoppers have signed up to join the Rochester Cash Mob, which will be guided by the text messaging campaign to move from store-to-store through downtown. They’ll be encouraged to spend at least $50 each the day of the event.
“It could be a deep discount opportunity on a high priced item that might be in an overstock category within a business. It might be an extreme coupon on a service that’s provided by that business, or it could be a free item,” Spencer said.
Kristi Trevarrow, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority, said the Rochester Cash Mob provides a unique opportunity for customers to take advantage of amazing sales and discounts, while supporting downtown businesses during the Main Street Makeover.
“It’s a way to keep people moving around downtown, but they get extra special discounts, too, just for coming down to support the merchants. We’ve gotten a good response so far,” she said.
At press time, there were 10 downtown merchants participating: The Funky Frog, Firebrick Gallery and Pottery Studio, Studio One Salon, Holy Cannolis, Molnar’s Tuxedo Rental & Sales, Sole Sisters, Secrets Salon & Spa, Moon River Soap Co., Rochester Mills Beer Co. and Haigs of Rochester — but Spencer said businesses are signing up each day.
The goal of the event, according to Spencer, is to boost the local retail community in downtown Rochester during the Main Street Makeover.
“I think the whole community recognizes the importance of trying to help our downtown merchants during this time of construction, and we wanted to do something fun. I think this is going to be a great event for us to be able to do that,” he said.
After the event, there will be an afterglow party for mob shoppers, merchants and community leaders beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Rochester Mills Beer Co., 400 Water St., just east of Rochester Road. The Rochester Cash Mob will hold a door prize drawing for the shoppers who submit proof of receipts that they spent $50 or more during the cash mob event.
The Cupcake Station, the OU Branch of the MSU Federal Credit Union, Fishbeck, and Thompson, Carr & Huber sponsored the event.
To become a part of the Rochester Cash Mob, text “RochCashMob” to 411669, or visit https://www.facebook.com/RochCashMob for more information.
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