Retail giant Woolworths has announced that it will pull its range of baby carriers at the centre of copying allegations.
Businesswoman Shannon McLaughlin this week accused Woolworths of copying her product design named the Ubuntu Baby Carrier.
After meeting McLaughlin on Wednesday, Woolworths published a series of tweets in which it apologised for what it calls a "lapse in process".
The retailer says it will remove its carriers in stores and online. It will also offer customers a full refund if they so wish.
We met with Ubuntu Baba today and have completed our investigation into the allegations of copying.— Woolworths SA (@WOOLWORTHS_SA) January 9, 2019
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.— Woolworths SA (@WOOLWORTHS_SA) January 9, 2019
We are intensifying the training of our people, our suppliers and partners on our values-based approach to design and sourcing.— Woolworths SA (@WOOLWORTHS_SA) January 9, 2019
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.— Woolworths SA (@WOOLWORTHS_SA) January 9, 2019
We remain deeply committed to the development of small businesses in South Africa.