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Girl Guides move cookie sales to traditional retailers amid coronavirus pandemic

Girl Guides of Canada is partnering with retailers across the country to sell cookies. Girl Guides of Canada

Girl Guides of Canada is forming some new partnerships to make sure everyone can still get their hands on its beloved cookies during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

After millions of boxes of cookies were shipped but physical-distancing guidelines prevented traditional methods of sale, CEO Jill Zelmanovits says generous retailers stepped up to fill the gap.

READ MORE: Live updates — Coronavirus in Canada

“[COVID-19] could not have hit us, actually, at a worse time. We have 3.5 million boxes of cookies that went out from our baker and got delivered to Girl Guide cookie receivers and units across the country,” she explained.

“Girl Guides and Brownies and Sparks sell to their neighbours and their friends and their teachers and their family and, all of a sudden, COVID shut that all down. So we had this huge problem where the cookies were out there, but the girls couldn’t sell them.”

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Zelmanovits says retailers came forward after hearing examples of people with cartons and cartons of cookies in their homes.

“Not one of them has said to us: ‘What sort of a cut should we take? How should we split up the pricing here?'” Zelmanovits said. “They all just came forward and said: ‘You have something to sell, we are in the business of selling things, let us sell your cookies and we will give you the whole $5 as if that Brownie had sold the box herself.”

First, Zelmanovits says one franchise owner in Leduc, Alta., began selling the cookies before higher-ups at Canadian Tire moved to sell the cookies in a number of their stores.

File photo from the 2019 LEAP camp. Girl Guides of Canada
File photo from the 2019 LEAP camp. Girl Guides of Canada

“We started to hear from Sobeys and Metro, and I know in Kitchener-Waterloo, there are a couple of Canadian Tire stores that are participating. Freshco’s also participating, and Foodland is getting cookies later this week. We’ve been really lucky,” she said.

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Zelmanovits says the money from the cookies is pivotal in funding the programs offered on the unit level of Sparks, Brownies and Girl Guides.

A full list of retailers offering the cookies can be found on the Girl Guides of Canada website.

— With files from Global News Radio 980 CFPL’s Sawyer Bogdan