By TRAVIS MORSE email@example.com
---- — MT. VERNON — Organizers hope the upcoming “cash mob” event at the Rend Lake College MarketPlace Tuesday will serve as an important reminder to residents to shop locally this holiday season.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event as part of its Shop it Here program, sponsored by the Jefferson County Development Corporation and the City of Mt. Vernon.
Cash mobs are held at retail stores, restaurants and bars. The goal is to get as many customers to the business at one time as possible by offering special sales and discounts.
The retailers participating in Tuesday's mob are Shoe Stop and the RLC Golf Outlet, both of which are located at the MarketPlace on Potomac Boulevard. The event runs from 4 to 9 p.m.
“They are having exclusive deals and discounts on a variety of items that will only be valid during the cash mob event,” said Michaela Scattone, marketing director at the Chamber. “It's great for the holiday season.”
Tuesday's event is the first cash mob hosted by the Chamber this season. Organizers hope to have about seven more of them at different businesses through January.
A number of special deals will be available at Shoe Stop and the Golf Outlet during the mob.
Shoe Stop will offer customers 25 percent off all white sticker items and 10 percent off sale prices. This excludes price protected items and prior purchases.
In addition, customers making a purchase at Shoe Stop can enter to win a $50 gift card.
“We're excited to be part of it and to be the first one. We hope it sets a trend,” said Tammy Dickey, general manager of Shoe Stop. “There will be some great deals.”
The Golf Outlet will offer 20 percent off all clothing in stock, $20 off any new driver in stock, and $15 off any pair of golf shoes in stock.
“We appreciate the promoting and the partnership with the Chamber,” said Corey Phillips, director of the RLC MarketPlace. “Hopefully, it'll jumpstart some holiday sales and people will think of us in the upcoming holiday season.”
Those attending Tuesday's event can also sign up to be in the running to win $250 cash, sponsored by Banterra Bank. There will also be free appetizers provided by LoneStar Steakhouse.
The cash mobs are one of the two new initiatives for this year's revamped Shop it Here campaign.
The other new project involves placing posters and yard signs featuring QR codes at various businesses in Mt. Vernon and Jefferson County.
Residents can then use their smartphones to scan the QR codes. This takes them directly to a website advertising unique offers at local businesses. A QR code is a kind of barcode that can be scanned by certain devices.
Scattone said she expects the posters and yard signs to be distributed in the next few weeks.
Businesses do pay a fee to be promoted through Shop it Here.
For more information on the program, call 242-5725, or visit the Chamber's Facebook page.