Girl Scouts investigate after cookies sold in Upstate retailers

Photo Courtesy of Deborah Douglas

The Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands were alerted Monday that a bargain store chain is selling their cookies by the package and case in Greenville County.

According to  Karen Kelly, Director of Marketing and Communications, Deal Mart purchased Girl Scouts packages from outside of South Carolina and are selling them at six Deal Mart locations.

Kelly says a joint investigation is underway between the national organization and their licensed baker.

Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountain to Midlands does not resell Girl Scout cookies for profit nor distribute them for commercial sale, Kelley said.

“[The girl scouts] are learning leadership skills. They’re learning to run their own business. They set their own goals,” Kelley said, Tuesday.”If the public thinks that they can buy discounted cookies after our cookie sale is over, then it could harm the programs that are available to girls.”

Kelley said these programs include camping and STEM programs, which girl scouts are able raise money for through the funds from the cookie sales. She said the Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountain to Midlands chapter also donates proceeds to local charities.

GSUSA sent out a statement regarding the cookies being sold at Deal Mart locations:

At the end of the Girl Scout cookie season, ABC Bakers donated surplus product in good faith and consistent with past practices to a domestic hunger-relief charity. Some of that product found its way into Deal Mart stores in South Carolina. They are in the process of immediately removing that unauthorized product from the shelves and investigating what happened. Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands was not involved in this unauthorized product ending up at Deal Mart.

Deal Mart owner, Don Weaver denied any wrongdoing. He has released the following statement:

A purchase of cookies was part of products received last week. The product came from North Carolina and in no way was related to the S.C.girl scouts.
It was aftermarket goods received directly from the manufacturer by a Christian based wholesaler, which in turn sold them directly to Deal Mart along with numerous other items.
Deal Mart had a large quantity of these cookies and had to move them as quickly as possible while they are still fresh.
This meant that we elected to offer them for $5.00 a 12 pack/case. consistent with our business principles, this amounts to an approximately 90% savings for our customers. Many folks took the opportunity to buy a quantity for their needs or the needs of others. It is not uncommon for manufacturers to get rid of any overage or overstocked items at the end of a season. This is how stores like ours survive, by purchasing these items at a drastically reduced rate and selling them to the consumers at a discount. this circumstance is not different from many others where we provide items at prices so much lower than all of our competition that it is mind boggling to some.

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