by Chris Chase
Coastal Journal staff
BATH — Lisa-Marie’s Made In Maine in Bath just got a swarm of business, thanks to a “cash mob” on Jan. 17.
The mob numbered about 20 people. Participants in the cash mob showed up with no idea what the store was going to be until it was announced shortly after 5:30. They then spent a little over 20 minutes in the store, with each participant spending a minimum of $20, providing a boost to the location.
“This all started with the tourism committee,” said Peter Heinz, a member of the committee. “Somebody had clued me in to cash mobs, and we ran with the idea.”
Jan. 17’s cash mob was the sixth one in Bath so far, with more planned for the future.
“The whole idea behind it is to support shopping local,” said Heinz.
The store in question is carefully picked in order to allow participants to find something that they would like there. The store must offer goods that will appeal to men, women, and children. Highly specialized stores are off the list in order to ensure all the participants walk away satisfied.
This time around, participants definitely were satisfied. Polly Goldman has attended three of Bath’s cash mobs so far, and made sure to attend this one after she gleaned the location ahead of time.
“I came because, A, I love this store, and B, I knew about cash mobs and I thought it was a great idea,” said Goldman.
Another experienced participant was Gene Proctor, who was there for her second cash mob.
“We did it last month and it was fun,” said Proctor of the cash mob. “It was wonderful, and I had a good time.”
Most of the participants attended with similar goals in mind: Find something nice to take home and to support their local businesses. With every cash mob making sure to go to the location of a locally owned business, the flood of interested people who come in to join in the fun send a lot of money and interest the business’ way.
Janine Lipfert was there as a first-time attendee of the cash mob, and got involved specifically because of the support it sends to local businesses.
“I’ve noticed them before and thought, ‘Oh, I’d like to do them,’” said Lipfert. “It’s good to support your local merchants.”
The cash mob itself is advertised ahead of time on various Facebook pages, and will also show up in the current events calendar. The location the mob is going to is never shared ahead of time, but they make sure to pick a store that will have something for everyone at reasonable prices. And they’re always easy to find.
“The meeting place is always under Hallet’s clock,” said Heinz.