Woolies removes copied bag
Retail giant Woolworths has broken its silence over accusations that it had copied a South African-made baby carrier – and will remove it from the store.
“We met with Ubuntu Baba today and have completed our investigation into the allegations of copying.
“While there are differences in our baby carrier, there are striking similarities which we acknowledge and take responsibility for,” Woolworths said on Wednesday.
The retail giant came under fire after businesswoman Shannon McLaughlin set out in a blog post how her design was stolen and sold at a low price.
“Woolworths has shamelessly copied my design and pattern,” she said.
She said she was convinced her design and concept were stolen after her team discovered that her baby carrier was twice ordered and delivered to Woolworths’ head office.
Woolworths said: “This is not in line with our values and goes against the very clear policy and creative guidelines we have in place for our design process.
“This lapse in process is being addressed internally.”
McLaughlin said the saga had affected her business and her customers.
Consumers lambasted Woolworths on social media after McLaughlin’s blog and tweet.
Someone parked a luxury SUV outside a branch of Woolworths with a sign inscribed “Stop Killing SMEs” (small and medium enterprises) on the back window.