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More than a dozen people, alerted by e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, converged at the corner of Thompson and Prince Sts. on Thursday evening Feb. 23.
Greeted by Fern Penn and Rita Brookoff, the Cash Mob went first to shop at Rosebud, Penn’s apparel and accessory shop at 131 Thompson St., and then to Legacy, Brookoff’s apparel and antique jewelry shop at 109 Thompson St.
Cash Mob, which started last August in Buffalo and has since caught on in towns from Ohio to California, is intended to lure shoppers to locally owned shops to spend $20 or more. The events include “aftermob” gatherings at local bars.
Although the turnout was small last week, with the aftermob gathering at Milady’s on Prince St., Brookoff said that she and Penn would send out a new Cash Mob cyber call on Sat., March 24, National Cash Mob Day.
“I know that the response wasn’t very big for a New York City event, but we made it to be very local, just for Legacy and Rosebud,” said Brookoff, who has been running Legacy for about a decade.
Brookoff declined to specify the sales volume generated by the Feb. 23 Cash Mob, but she said the March 24 event would involve more locally owned shops.
In 2009, after a dreary holiday shopping season, Brookoff and Penn, with four other Soho shop owners, organized S3, which stands for Shop Small Stores, to promote local stores. The group grew to 30 members and included owners of shops in Nolita and the Lower East Side.
Because Cash Mob has become a national movement, Penn and Brookoff hope their version will help shop owners weather the current lackluster retail climate.