Communities are always on the lookout for new ways to promote business. Throughout the calendar year, there are times when merchants band together to time their sales to coincide in a concerted effort to bring people to town.
These promotions are the same in many communities, even occurring at the same time every year. There's an axiom in marketing, as well as in nearly every other facet of life, that says that if you do the same thing the same way, over and over again, you will begin to get less back for your efforts.
So, when the idea of a "cash mob" was floated earlier this month, you can imagine that it was greeted with some skepticism.
Sure, we all had heard about flash mobs, the dance sensation where a group of people gather in a public place and spontaneously begin dancing or performing some other group action. They are really cool. If you haven't heard of it, take a look at YouTube.
The idea of a cash mob is gathering a group of consumers who all agree to spend $20 in whatever business is drawn at random. On Thursday, the first event was held in Le Mars. A group of 60 shoppers gathered at the Chamber Office and Mayor Dick Kirchoff drew the name of the business, which was Rust's Western Shed.
In the next half-hour, over $1,000 was spent at the business, which has been an anchor on Central Avenue for years.
While the impact of an influx of cash from local shoppers can not and should not be discounted, there is something deeper and profound that can be learned here.
When we interviewed some of the shoppers after they made their purchases, many commented that they did not know the business carried such a wide and varied amount of items.
Future cash mobs will be descending on businesses on the highway and eating establishments.
The events are social as well as practical, and all are welcome.
But you don't need to be a part of a mob to discover the value that awaits you in the shops and eating establishments in Le Mars. You only need to go through their front doors and see what's inside.
You'll be pleasantly surprised.