Last year Katie Francis sold an unbelievable 12,428 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, but like the best business persons in America, she was hardly satisfied. This past year Francis cemented herself as the Girl Scout Cookie business tycoon of America by selling 18,107 boxes of the cookies, breaking all other records held previously.
What is even more impressive is that Katie Francis’ fiscal year is quite shorter than the rest of the world’s. Girl Scout Cookies are sold during a seven-week sales term, which ended this past Sunday. For the folks at home, that would be more than 125,000 boxes in a full year.
Francis says that her number one business strategy was simply “asking everyone she met to buy.” Unfortunately, it does not seem as though retailers around the world can adopt Katie’s strategy; it seems to be contingent on her status as a Girl Scout. It is doubtful that Oreo would have success with the same strategy, as most folks would probably find that annoying.
But Francis was anything but annoying as she was able to win over the hearts and minds of so many local customers that she broke Elizabeth Brinton’s previous mark of 18,000 boxes sold, which has stood for nearly 35 years. Brinton sold her cookies in 1980.
Francis hails from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where she was last year’s top seller as well. The executives at Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers are certainly thankful for Francis’ success as they are the ones officially approved by Girl Scout USA to make Girl Scout Cookies.
According to the Girl Scout Organization, the most popular cookies are the Thin Mints, which make up 25 percent of their market; Samoas, 19 percent; Tagalongs, 13 percent; the Peanut Butter sandwich, 11 percent; and the Shortbreads, which make up 9 percent.
Francis’ celebrity status earned her an interview with the local Oklahoma City paper, The Oklahoman, when she revealed the three most important ingredients for a successful sales report during the Girl Scout Cookie sales term: lots of free time, serious commitment and ask everyone to buy cookies.
Although Francis herself will not see any of the profits from her record-setting sales, her troop will receive a portion of the proceeds generated from the Girl Scout cookie fundraiser. The troop intends to donate the money to breast cancer research, a footnote which will make a lot of residents in Oklahoma who bought a couple of boxes from Francis feel even better about their support.
One of the perks of selling Girl Scout cookies is that they are in a controlled supply. Every year, when the sale begins, many people stock up knowing that they will not be able to buy these delicious treats until the following year. Next year is something Katie Francis is already looking forward to. She wanted to surpass 20,000 boxes sold this year, but fell just shy. At the rate she has been improving at, this Girl Scout turned business tycoon could be on her way to shattering that mark.
By Nick Manai