Carol Ackerman said her New City Girl Scout Troop hoped to sell Girl Scout Cookies at The Shops At Nanuet. When she asked the Shops’ management for permission she was told the troop would be charged a fee - $175 to sell in the courtyard or $100 to sell on the perimeter.
Ackerman said she was angry, stunned and disappointed. The Rockland County native said she understands when a business says no to the request for girls to sell cookies but the troop has never been told they would have to pay. Ackerman said the troop earns 75 cents per box and would have sell 134 boxes just to cover the fee.
“I felt that wasn’t right,” she said. “We’re part of their community.”
The Shops At Nanuet issued the following statement regarding their policy on organizations seeking permission to sell items.
“The Shops at Nanuet evaluates every inquiry for access to the property individually. Anytime we consider a request by an outside organization to come to the property to sell a product, there is a fee structure involved. In this instance, we wanted to accommodate the Girls Scouts and offered them an extremely discounted rate.”
Ackerman said her troop of 11-year-old sixth and seventh graders would look elsewhere to sell the cookies in March. She said the 15 girls in Troop 40826 have been successful selling in front of grocery stores and restaurants and hoped to expand this year.
“I know that the Girl Scout House as already arranged for Girl Scout Week at the Palisades Mall - but it's so popular that they use a lottery system,” said Ackerman. “Last year we didn't get picked so this year we were trying to make our own plans.”
Ackerman said selling cookies is not actually about raising money but a learning experience because the girls develop a business plan. They learn how to sell, how to approach people and why some people will not buy or just ignore them.“All of that is a life lesson to them," she said.