I had not seen much of this even in the Chicago area, but in small town Bloomington-Normal, IL (pop. 150,000) I have seen this new tactic for the last two days at a busy train/bus station which is located in the heart of town. It is eery to watch them just stand there, not saying anything not even holding the publications out to people. Just standing there like a stone beside their carts.
I took a seat in the roundabout circle to watch and two sets of them were like ghosts, l looked away and when I looked again they had swithed positions or a new person came and an original one left. I was surprised they were there so late in the day, but I guess they wanted to hit the 6:00 train passengers. Then about 7:00 p.m. they floated away silently....It was more eerie than anything.
Then again today, I saw them coming...but this time since there is a festival of some kind in the town circle, they will be totally ignored.
What a colosal waste of time, never saying anything and people ignoring them left and right.