Woolworths has invited Ubuntu Baba owner Shannon McLaughlin to meet and talk about the baby carrier she has accused the retailer of stealing after the story caused a storm on social media.
The retail giant will be meeting her on Wednesday.
McLaughlin was shocked when a friend sent a screenshot of the exact design being sold on Woolworths’s online shop in December 2018.
She has described the retailer’s conduct as “completely unethical”.
“Woolworths has shamelessly copied my design and pattern. They 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 able to issue a response only after company representatives have met the Ubuntu Baby founder. The company said that in the meantime‚ it will recall the product from its online shop.
Ubuntu Baba’s customers have since questioned them about the price of the product and how Woolworths are able to sell them for a third of the price.
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 while the Woolworths version retails for R450.
McLaughlin said that the Woolworths product is manufactured in China made with polyester and her product is manufactured in SA from organic hemp.
She has been advised by an intellectual property attorney against suing the retailer due to the high costs involved.
She would like Woolworths to remove the baby carriers from sale and explain how it happened.