- Mar 26, 2010
More at: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/consumer-live/2019-01-08-woman-who-says-woolworths-copied-her-baby-carrier-design-will-not-sue-but-wants-retailer-to-account/The struggle to find a perfect baby carrier that is not only suitable for the baby but comfortable for the mother as well was what inspired Shannon McLaughlin to design one – which took four years to launch.
The mother was shocked to the core when a friend sent a screen shot of the exact design being sold at retail giant Woolworths's online shop in December 2018.
McLaughlin, who is accusing the retailer of stealing her design and concept, described Woolies's conduct as “completely unethical”.
“Woolworths has shamelessly copied my design and pattern. Not only have they copied my ‘Stage 1’ and ‘Stage 2’ names, used my colours (and) designated Google Ad keywords to divert potential customers,” she said.
Woolworths, meanwhile, has said it takes the issue “incredibly seriously” but will only be in a position to issue a response after company representatives have met with the Ubuntu Baby founder. The company said that in the meantime, they are recalling the product from its online shop.
McLaughlin said the carrier, which is manufactured by her company Ubuntu Baba baby carriers in Cape Town, was priced between R1,300 and R1,590. Woolies sold them for R450.
Speaking about measures taken to check if indeed Woolies had copied the design, “one of the ladies on my team suggested searching our online order receipts to see if anyone from Woolworths head office has ever purchased one of our carriers, and, surprise, we find that an Ubuntu Baba Stage 2 carrier was purchased and delivered to Woolworths head office in June 2017,” she said.