A made-for-TV hardware story

To those who still think social media is an exercise for those with more time than sense, consider this story from Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

A local resident named Jim Black looking to do something to support local business generally, and Chagrin Hardware specifically, wrote an email to about 40 friends. It read: “Let’s show our support for one of our local businesses. I challenge everyone to spend AT LEAST $20 at the hardware [store] on the 21st.”

A few Facebook postings later, the small business phenomenon known as a “cash mob” descended on the store and made the 21st of January the busiest day ever for Chagrin Hardware, a Do it Best dealer on 82 N. Main. 

“We think probably 1,000 people came through the door,” third-generation co-owner Steve Shutts told Home Channel News. “Our big forte is being able to wait on people in the aisles. We couldn’t even do that because we were ringing the cash registers all day.”

Was it a surprise? “Actually, people had come in earlier in the week and said, ‘I want to spend my $20 now.’ We started asking questions, so we knew that something more was going to happen on the 21st.”

Since the store opened in 1857, it was the biggest sales day, with sales turbocharged by a factor of seven or eight, he said.

When asked how business was on a Wednesday in February, Shutts said: “It’s a little quieter today.”