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There’s no waiting for Girl Scout Cookies!

Copyright © 2015 Albuquerque Journal

Those Do-si-dos no longer come with a month-long wait.

The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails began selling cookies this week, including the new Toffee-tastic, a gluten-free option.Girl Scout Cookie sales began this week. Unlike previous years, local Scouts already have access to the cookies they're selling. (Morgan Petroski/Albuquerque Journal)

The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails began selling cookies this week, including the new Toffee-tastic, a gluten-free option.Girl Scout Cookie sales began this week. Unlike previous years, local Scouts already have access to the cookies they’re selling. (Morgan Petroski/Albuquerque Journal)

Neither do Thin Mints or Samoas, for that matter.

That’s because local Girl Scouts have changed their cookie sales approach in 2015, offering customers the kind of instant gratification not often associated with those famous boxed goodies. For the first time, area Scouts have dispensed with the traditional pre-order process, waiting to initiate sales until they had product in hand.

Sales formally began Monday, meaning some locals already are devouring their $4 batches of Trefoils and Rah-Rah Raisins.

The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails – the council that oversees an estimated 400 troops and 3,000 Scouts in central and northern New Mexico – made the decision to forgo pre-orders and adopt a sales model gaining popularity with Scouts around the country, said Trish Maxwell, the local council’s product sales manager.

Eliminating the January pre-order period “just makes it easier on everyone,” she said. First and foremost, it condenses the cookie-selling time frame for Scouts and their families. But it also has the added benefit of giving buyers faster access to the beloved treats.

“It has been (popular) so far,” Maxwell said.

Having the product immediately available has led to particularly robust sales so far, said Jana Lewis, leader of Albuquerque-based Troop No. 10547. She said leaders didn’t know what to expect with the change, but early reports indicate the move was positive.

“They’re selling way more immediately right off the bat than anyone could’ve guessed,” she said.

The one potential problem, of course, is that the council must purchase an inventory based on projections rather than established customer demand, and will have to eat – at least figuratively – any unsold boxes come the end of cookie season (March 29).

To avoid such a surplus, the council placed an initial bakery order based on what individual troops estimated they could sell within the first few weeks, Maxwell said. It will then reorder as needed throughout the season.

Should the council’s cookie cupboard runneth over come mid-March, leadership may initiate some last-minute incentives to bolster sales throughout the ranks, according to Carol Ann Short, who handles public relations for the council.

The good news for the council is that New Mexico Trails boasts some darn good salesgirls. In 2014, they sold 686,287 boxes – an average of 243 boxes per Scout.

“Our girls are really, really good at what they do,” Maxwell said, noting that the local average ranks among the highest in the nation.

Eliminating pre-orders is just one difference local Girl Scout Cookie fans may notice this year. For the first time, Scouts can sell cookies online. Local Scouts can create their own Web pages to peddle their product to friends and loved ones who may live far away. (Buyers must be invited to each page by the presiding Scout, though the council can help initiate contact for customers who don’t know a Scout.)

Also new in 2015 are the aforementioned Rah-Rah Raisin – an oatmeal cookie with raisins and Greek yogurt-flavored chunks – and the Toffee-tastic cookie, a $5-a-box gluten-free option that Maxwell said is available in limited quantities.

For more information, on Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, go online to nmgirlscouts.org or call 343-1040.

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