03/23/09 — Girl Scouts faced tough cookie sales

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Girl Scouts faced tough cookie sales

By Staff Reports
Published in News on March 23, 2009 1:46 PM


Savannah Shoemaker, 8, of Goldsboro Girl Scout Troop 318, sells three boxes of cookies to Terita Williams during the last day of sales last week at the Sam's Club store in Goldsboro.

A weak economy is likely the culprit behind a drop in Girl Scout cookie sales, say Scout leaders.

But that didn't stop some girls from still selling a truckload of the sweet treats.

Cookie sales officially ended last week.

Abbey Neal of Troop 3422 in Goldsboro was the top seller last year for the Coastal Pines Council, which serves more than 31,500 girls in 41 counties.

Abbey sold 4,002 boxes of cookies last year.

Because of the sluggish economy, she set a lower goal this year -- to sell 2,000 boxes.

She reached that goal last weekend.

"Some days the economy seemed to hurt us, but other days it didn't," her mother, Lori Neal, said.

Lillie Thompson, leader of four Girl Scout troops and service unit manager with the Council of Coastal Carolina, said the economy probably had had a negative effect on the sales.

"I think it did have an effect," she said. "The girls thought so, too. People just didn't buy as many."

This year, they sold 62,948 boxes -- about 5,000 less than last year, said Valerie McDevitt, director of product sales for the Girls Scouts Coastal Pines.

But, Ms. Thompson said, there also were also fewer girls participating this year.

About 200 girls sold cookies this year. Last year, there were about 260.

Girls just have so many more options now than they used to have," Ms. Thompson said. "They have after school activities, sports. But we try to tell people that you can do those things and be a Girl Scout."

So, despite the lower overall total, on average, most girls sold more cookies than they did last year.

Ms. Thompson said she doesn't' think it's the cookies that sell, it's the girls.

"Girl Scout cookies are good, but I don't think that's the real reason people buy them. There are good cookies in the store," she said. "The children who speak to people, and who maintain their smiles, sell more cookies."

And people buy cookies, too, because they remember times when they used to be a Girl Scout or remember when their daughter was in the Girl Scouts.

Final numbers on the cookie sales won't be in until later this month, Ms. McDevitt said, and she expects for higher numbers to be rolling in as many counties, like Wayne, still have a few booths scheduled.

For more information on Girl Scouts or cookie sales, call 734-6231.