There was a surprise in store for shoppers this week as a shock cash mob took over the market square and headed for Handpicked Hall.
Local entrepreneur Claire Mitchell had invited Ripon shoppers to meet at the obelisk on a Saturday morning after requesting each bring £10 to spend, but had not revealed where the cash mob would be spending their money.
The managing director of Chillipeeps, a local baby milk bottle business, then told the shoppers she had secretly chosen Handpicked Hall as the location for their cash mob raid.
Ms Mitchell told the Gazette: “It was exciting and fun, firstly to see which shoppers turned up and then to surprise them with which shop we were going to.
“Then it was exciting to go into the shop and surprise the retailers, who were animated, excited, and happy to be involved.”
The shock cash mob initiative – which boosted Handpicked Hall’s takings by more than £200 on the day – is popping up across the UK since being created by coffee shop owner Karen Mercer, who was inspired by a similar scheme in America.
Ms Mitchell said she hopes the scheme will encourage more people to visit an independent café or shop in Ripon.
“The aim is to secure the future of local Ripon independent retailers.
“If local traders are to survive in the current economic climate, we have to make that conscious decision to change our shopping habits,” she said.
“We are looking for up to 20 shoppers to join in each mob. I hope we can do it on a regular basis.”