This is How the Cookie Crumbles

Weak Economy Drags Down Sales of Girl Scout Cookies

It seems nothing, not even a tried and true American confectionery tradition, is immune to the ravages of the recession. Girl Scout troops across the state report declining sales numbers of their ubiquitous cookies.

“Sales are definitely down,” said Mary Beth Schmidt, leader for Girl Scout Troop 64156, of Pomfret told the Norwich Bulletin in this story. “We were probably half of what we were last year (in the pre-order sale.)”

The Girl Scout cookie sale is divided into two parts: the pre-order sale from Dec. 20 to Jan. 23, and the booth sale, which started Saturday.

Pam Young, service unit manager for the Nipmuc Unit, which includes Plainfield, Sterling and Canterbury, told the Bulletin her troops have reported about a 35 percent decrease in sales so far this year.

“The Girl Scouts are not immune to the economy,” said Sharon Bellinger, spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

Bellinger said she has received reports of decreased sales across the state, but could not give specific numbers because the final sale results will not be completed until June.

Bellinger said the state organization lowered its cookie selling goal by 8 percent this year — from 2.8 million boxes to 2.6 million boxes — because of the poor economy.

Each box sells for $4. From that, 75 cents returns to the troop, Bellinger said. Cookie profits fund service projects, trips and day-to-day operations of the troops.

The lower pre-order sale numbers have many troops scrambling to make up for the loss through additional booth sales.

Sheri-Anne Seiden, service unit manager for the Wolf Den Unit, which includes Pomfret, Putnam, Eastford, Thompson and Woodstock, said troops in her unit hold an average of two or three booth sales each year, but many troops are holding six or more this year.

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