In mid-December McLaughlin found out to her horror that her specially designed baby carriers were being copied and retailed at Woolworths' stores countrywide. McLaughlin contacted Woolworths about the matter, only to be issued with a reference number and a response stating that a “technologist will investigate the issue”. She then posted on her blog about her concerns, stating that Woolworths had blatantly copied her design.
The blog post sparked a huge amount of interest across various social media platforms. McLaughlin subsequently indicated that she was not looking to take legal action against the big retailer, but that what they had done was morally wrong and flew in the face of the values the retailer purports to have: “helping local enterprises grow, and contributing to a prosperous, secure future for our country".
After meeting with Woolworths, McLaughlin posted a response thanking everyone for their support. She stated that several other small business owners had contacted her to say they were experiencing similar issues with Woolworths.
Woolworths’ response on Twitter has been that they have withdrawn their baby carriers from the market, and are dealing internally with the “lapse in process” on their side.