But if you're an independent, owner-operated business like Comic World at 1204 4th Ave., you'd be well pleased to have the "Cash Mob" come to call.
The mob is coming 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday as part of an effort by the group Create Huntington to introduce people to local businesses they might miss or not even know about.
It also means you're invited to join a more positive mob than usual.
"It's exciting," said Comic World owner Kathleen Miller. "How many people can we get in here at once?"
People who join the Cash Mob are encouraged to head to a designated business -- in this case, Comic World on Saturday -- and spend at least $10.
The idea arose from one of the 'Chat n' Chew' meet-ups of Create Huntington, a grass-roots collaboration of locals. The volunteer group has been at the center of helping incite a resurgence of local business start-ups and makeovers in West Virginia's second largest city.
"The Cash Mobs began last Spring," said Thomas McChesney, who by day works as marketing director for the Huddleston Bollen law firm, but has been very active with Create Huntington. "Like almost any good idea we actually stole it from someone else. We stole it from Marietta, Ohio."
The Cash Mobs have taken place once a month since April, but have been so well received they're now occurring each weekend in December.
Recent cash-mobbed businesses include Robert's Running and Walking Shop, 1440 Fourth Ave., the Huntington Museum of Art gift shop and the Lambs Gate Market, 415 9th St., a new fair trade nonprofit gift shop near Pullman Square whose net profits go to underprivileged orphans in Nicaragua.
"The businesses are reporting anywhere from 30 to 50 people who show and especially note they're there because of the Cash Mob," McChesney said.
It's a little hard to exactly calculate the bump in that day's revenues as there may be customers mixed in that day who were headed to the business anyway, he said. "We ask people to spend $10 or so. Assuming that folks do that then the business is looking at a bump of about $300 to $500."
The cash infusion is helpful, but not the only benefit from being mobbed, McChesney said. "In many of those cases, the 30 or 50 people who have gone have not been there before or perhaps they do not think of routinely going.
"It's a way to introduce themselves and give that business an opportunity to create a returning customer."
Robert Smith of Robert's Running and Walking Shop appreciated the exposure for his specialty shop, which features fitness-related gear, from running and walking shoes to running watches armed with GPS.
He said the hard thing for a specialty shop like his was that except for, say, socks, "there are not a lot of things you can buy for 10 bucks."
But he noticed a second benefit: Customers were introduced to his shop and some returned after the Cash Mob had come and gone, said Smith, who two years ago opened a Charleston affiliate of his shop on Pennsylvania Avenue.
"Just being nominated and having that publicity in the press was good. We definitely did some extra business from it."
Smith said he appreciates the Cash Mob concept and tried to do his own part.
"The whole idea is for local businesses like us to kind of band together and keep getting people into the local shops. The day the Cash Mob was here we went and bought a bunch of stuff from one of the other local stores to give people something to drink and eat.
"It was, like, 'Pay it forward.' The whole idea is to let people know when you buy something in a local shop those proceeds are going to stay local at a lot higher percentage than if you buy online or in a national chain store."
The Huntington Museum of Art gift shop was cash mobbed the first Saturday in December.
"There were more people that came to the museum shop on that Saturday," said Ashley Saunders, who has run the shop since May. "The time period was from 2 to 3 p.m., but we were really busy all that day. So, it really helped to increase sales that day and I think the whole weekend."
Along with customers familiar with the shop, there were several who had not shopped there before, Saunders said. The only thing she would have liked was for more advance notice to better publicize the event.
"I think if we would have had longer to advertise for it rather than five days we would have had more people. But it was still a great turnout all day."
Phoebe Patton Randolph is a Huntington architect who has been an active Create Huntington member and helps to manage the Cash Mob nomination process.
"Businesses are nominated either through Twitter or the Create Huntington website," she said. "Then, there's a random drawing to confirm the winner. It's fun to get to contact the businesses and tell them that they've won. If they know what it is they are really excited about it."
And if they don't, she said it's a pleasant surprise to find out a Cash Mob is coming. And maybe some new customers.
Consider Comic World, whose last claim to fame was being featured as a locale in Harvey Pekar's 2011 graphic novel "Huntington, W.Va.: On the Fly."
"We have a lot of people who love that shop and then we have a lot of people say. 'Oh I didn't realize that store was there,'" Randolph said.
So, Cash Mobs can help relatively new businesses, but also ones that have been around a while like Comic World, which Kathleen Miller started in April 1980.
Miller didn't know what a 'Cash Mob' was until her business was picked in the drawing and she got the call, she said. "And I looked it up and thought, this is exciting!"
She was busily stuffing free goodie bags Thursday with copies of "Avengers Vs. X-Men" comics and other titles left over from a recent Free Comic Book Day.
She trusts her shop will make a good impression on the coming Cash Mob, what with its voluminous comics from the 1960s on up, many children's titles, as well as well-stocked archives of graphic novel series like "The Walking Dead."
"We could have a comic from your childhood, no matter what year it was," she said, confidently.
Miller, for one, is looking forward to the Mob.
"It's a positive thing," she said. "We need more of those."Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.