Earlier in the autumn I was involved along with Richard from Bowes & Bounds Connectted in setting up a local “cashmob”.
A cashmob, for those unfamiliar with the term is an interesting way for people to act together in support of independent local businesses. This new “shop local” movement emerged in New York about a year ago. Many of you will have heard about 'flash mobs' - groups of people, who assemble suddenly in a place, perform an unusual and fun activity and then disperse.
A cash mob is similar. It's a group of people who arrange to support a local business that could use the trade. They meet at an agreed time, spend an agreed amount and usually link a social activity for those involved, like all going for a drink, or a coffee together. The purpose is primarily to support valued local businesses and also to provide another chance for locals to meet up in a fun environment.
The first Haringey cashmob supported the traders at Harringay Market where over 70 people turned up (in the rain!). and the idea has spread across North London and elsewhere.
A bit of discussion followed the event and now we’ve planned the next Haringey Cash mob for Sunday December 16th at the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green.
This much loved independent bookshop is a centre for all sorts of local activity – from author talks, children’s events, comedy nights, board games, knitting and so much more. Not resting on their much deserved laurels BGB has plans to run a Wood Green Literary festival during 2013. Its recognition is far wider than us local folks – recently the Independent newspaper identified the Big Green Bookshop as number two in the UKs Best Bookshops.
So as a practical way to show support for the type of local independent business we all want in our high streets a cash mob will assemble on the afternoon of Sunday December 16th from 2:00 pm with a commitment to spend £10 at BGB – there will be a chance to meet with your neighbours, buy some great Christmas presents and have some fun.
The cashmob will run form 2 - 2:30 after which we'll all meet together upstairs at the Caffe Nero just down the road.
We're going to try and get some leaflets made to hand out on Wood Green High Street - a chance for publicity not to be missed! If you can help out, please leave a message below and we get you fixed up (printing permitting!).
There will also be live music on hand - so we hope to have a bit of a party atmosphere!
Please pass on the message to your friends via Twitter, Facebook. e-mail and pigeon post – use the hashtag #BGBcashmob so we can track the coverage
I love Cash Mobs!!
Please consider hiding it from the shop owner next time you do it. The look on their faces when they get the surprise is priceless!!! :)
Thanks Ana, but for my part I'm not convinced of the benefit of surprise. There are a number of practical issues. Firstly, to ensure maximum spread of the news, it makes sense to use social media. It's kind tough to do that in secret. Secondly, many traders prefer notice so they can be prepared - what if they'd only planned one staff member that day? What if they're delaying on a stock order that could easily be brought forward and enable them to better showcase what the store is about.
As nice as the looks of surprise are, they're pretty fleeting in their impact. I'm after something more enduring here - an immediate cash injection, yes, but I'd far rather support the development of longer term business for the trader through helping kick off or develop relationships with customers and by giving a free splurdge of publicity. It's also an opportunity to add still more to neighbourhood social capital.
I didn't think of that but I guess you're right. Probably better in the longer term, just not as much fun. :)
Now if we only had a kindly not-for-profit company in Harringay/Wood Green in place of Caffe Nero, Costa and Moka, we could really put a Cashmob to good use where it's truly needed. Poor Starbucks, much-abused for their piss-poor beverage, have not been able to turn a profit in this ungrateful nation for 14 of the past 15 years. Yet from the depths of their transAtlantic philanthropy they are making us a voluntary Christmas present of £20m. It's payback time and the buck stops here. Couldn't HOL set up a series of 'flying cashmobs' to come to the rescue of every London Starbucks branch? Let's put a smile back on Starbucks' faces as we shower them with our tenners on priceless surprise visits such as our Inland Revenue and the IRS didn't think of organis/zing. They have good er grounds for expecting no less.
Not that I'd ever want to criticise pro-active members of the community but it does seem a little odd offering such great support to a local store only to follow it up with a trip to Cafe Nero, isn't there an independent coffee shop near by?
Nearest is probably Cafe Teria on Langham Road
Yes, there are independent coffee shops inside the shopping centre in the market area at the back. Actually, lots of independent and interesting shops there.
And don't forget the amazing Karamel - just round the corner in the Cultural Quarter. Unfortunately closed on Sundays, but well worth checking out for live music, childrens shows, great coffee and fantastic food.
Cafe Teria - go for it. It's really nice but never seems to have many customers.
Whereabouts is care Teria? I live near Langham Road.