BENTONVILLE, Arkansas –
Wal-Mart stores have announced this morning that they will no longer be allowing members of any Girl Scout troops to sell cookies in front of their stores, claiming that Girl Scout Cookies directly compete with their own ‘Great Value’ brand of cookies.
“We, as a company, have decided to no longer allow the Girl Scouts of America to sell their cookies in front of our establishments,” said Douglas Mcmillon, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, INC. “We at Wal-Mart sell our own line of baked snack foods, including several cookie flavors that the Girl Scouts also sell. We have come to the decision that they are a competing brand, and management at all locations has been informed to deny permission to any troops looking to sell at their stores.”
Wal-Mart has been allowing Girl Scout troops to set up tables and sell their cookies in front of stores for decades. Suddenly and abruptly pulling their permission has come as a shock to many parents of young Girl Scout members, many of whom say they will boycott the company completely.
“I cannot believe that they would do something like this to our girls,” said Mary Lambert, a mother of 2 girls in the Scout program. “We have been going to our local Wal-Mart and selling cookies together as a group for the last 3 years. This is an outrage. If they think I’m going to buy their stupid cookies, they are dead wrong. I won’t buy anything there anymore!”
“We understand that people are going to be upset,” said Mcmillon. “There isn’t much we can do to change that. They sell Caramel Delites, we sell Caramel Fudge and Coconut Cookies. They sell Thin Mints, we sell Chocolate Mint Wafer Cookies. It’s about the Scouts stealing money from us, and we can’t have that. You don’t see Coca-Cola parked in front of Pepsi retailers selling their sodas, do you?”
Although not as numerous in locations as Wal-Mart, big box retailer K-Mart has stepped up to the plate, offering their locations as selling points for all Girl Scout troops.
“We don’t sell our own brand of cookies. To be honest, we don’t sell much of anything,” said Patricia Miller, president of Sears Holdings, the parent company of K-Mart. “All Girl Scout troops are more than welcome to block our entryways to sell their delicious cookies.”
Curiously, Wal-Mart has not banned the Boy Scouts of America from selling their popcorn tins in front of their locations. Parents of several Girl Scout members think it’s less about money, and more about sexism.
“Wal-Mart is known for being horrible to their workers, and being downright abysmal to their female employees,” said Lambert. “We think this is just more sexism from the biggest company in the world. They’re banning our girls, but the boys can shill their popcorn ’til the cows come home.”
Several troop leaders, as well as many groups of parents throughout the country, have initiated a boycott of Wal-Mart stores. At the time of this writing, Wal-Mart representative could not be reached for further comment.