Woolworths release apology statement after meeting with Ubuntu Baba team
Photo Cred: Ubuntu Baba

Woolworths have apologised to all customers and want South Africa to know that they are deeply committed to the development of small businesses in our country.


Woolworths have met and apologised to the businesswoman who designed a baby carrier for new mothers, after social media caused the story to go viral. They have also removed the product from all their shelves and have stated that they are deeply committed to the development of small businesses in South Africa.

Shannon McLaughlin – the owner of Ubuntu Baba baby carrier – wrote a heartbreaking and scathing blog after finding out that the local retail giant Woolworths “blatantly copied” her idea.

“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.

Not only have they copied my ‘Stage 1’ and ‘Stage 2’ names, and used my colours but Woolworths have also designated Google Ad keywords to divert potential customers,” the small business owner explained.

Following several failed attempts to contact Woolworths via email, McLaughlin took to social media to tackle the retailer and since posting her blog, hundreds and thousand of South Africans have publicly voiced their support for her business.

Woolworths met with the small business owner on Wednesday and released a statement shortly thereafter announcing that they will be removing all the products from all their stores.

“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. 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. We are intensifying and strengthening the training of our people, our suppliers and partners on our values-based approach to the design and sourcing process.

We have sincerely apologised to Shannon personally and we would like to offer our heartfelt apologies to our customers who expect more from us.

We are removing all product from our stores and online. Customers who wish to return their product may do so for a full refund.

We remain deeply committed to the development of small businesses in South Africa.”

Sources: Woolworths
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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