WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Flash mobs seem to be a fun, modern trend popping up all over the world, but a new kind of "mob" is gaining popularity for boosting business profits.
Rather than swarms of people showing up at public places to dance in unison at the same time, cash mobs simply require that a group of people show up to any given business to spend some money.
The catch is that business owners usually have no idea about the mobs, so they're completely caught off guard by the steady stream of customers.
Michael Lambrix, owner of Candles, Etc. downtown, had no idea what was in store for him when he opened up his shop Saturday morning.
What he expected to be a normal day turned out to be anything but.
"I was incredibly surprised," said Lambrix. "As soon as we opened up, people started showing up."
Kelly Toms, who organized the event, had heard about cash mobs taking place in other cities and thought bringing one to Wilmington would be a good idea.
She relied on social media to get the word out about the cash mob.
"If your dollars are spent locally, it makes a huge impact," she said. "Every little bit…every $20 that we put back into our local economy has a huge impact."
With cash mobs, chances are, if people visit a business once, they're more likely to return.
"I definitely now will come back, because I know [Candles, Etc.] exists, and the things are priced just as well as something I might get in a bath and body shop," said shopper Lois Prusinowski.
Lambrix says his shop offers a lot of items that folks won't find at big-chain stores.
"You find that our candles seem to burn much longer, much cleaner and have much more natural fragrance than other candles on the market," he said.
Lambrix also makes all of his candles out of natural products, and says he saw between 75 and 100 people stopped by his shop Saturday.
Organizers say they plan to hold more cash mobs at local businesses in the future.