Local businesswoman and founder of Ubuntu Baba Carrier, Shannon Mclaughlin is alleging that Woolworths has blatantly copied her product design and is selling it at a third of the price that she sells hers.
The original product is manufactured in a small factory in Retreat, employing 8 local staff, whilst the Woolworths product is manufactured in China.
She wrote an open letter to the retailer on her blog, where she states:
It’s 16 December 2018 and I’ve just found out that Woolworths has shamelessly copied the complete design and concept of the baby carrier that I have put my heart and soul into for the last 4 years of my life.
At first glance, it looks like they’ve just used my product name ‘Stage 1’ and ‘Stage 2’ baby carrier. On closer inspection, I realise that they’re using the exact same colours, grey and navy to my baby carrier. Upon further investigation, it appears that they have designated the terms ‘Stage 1 carrier’ and ‘Stage 2 carrier’ as Google Adword keywords. So when you search the term ‘Stage 1 carrier’ or ‘Stage 2 carrier’ – the exact names which are unique to my little business – Ubuntu Baba baby carriers and in which my business has a reputation in – Woolworths adverts come up above my organic search results.
Mclaughlin claims that the Woolworths Product Developer purchased an Ubuntu Baba stage 1 carrier in September 2017 and an Ubuntu Baba Stage 2 carrier was purchased by the Woolworths Sourcing Administrator, both which were delivered to Woolworths Head Office in Longmarket street.