1 November 2018

The Imitation Game - Independent retailer Great Little Trading Company takes a stand against copyright infringement

Independent children’s retailer, Great Little Trading Co (GLTC), has challenged national home improvement retailer Homebase, owned by the international company Hilco Capital. In a recent post on social media, GLTC questioned certain designs in Homebase’s Flexi Compact Cube range, claiming the resemblance of these designs to their own Canvas Storage Cube range is infringing their copyright. The designs in question, all of which have substantial similarities to the GLTC equivalent designs are Homebase’s Dinosaur Stomp, City Life, Butterfly Flutter and Grey Clouds.

GLTC decided to share this with their following on social media and make a public statement, in order to protect their reputation for innovative design and quality of workmanship. The opening statement addressed their concerns that customers may confuse their original cubes with the new Homebase versions:
“We’d like to be clear that these @Homebase_uk storage cubes are in no way associated with our own, original design, 100% cotton, strong and durable canvas storage cubes.”
The Great Little Trading Co. brand is based on distinctive, innovative design and exceptional quality; GLTC maintains these qualities are key to the health and success of all small, independent businesses, particularly during a challenging retail climate.
We are so passionate about creating designs that reflect our brand values, and we are prepared to take all necessary measures to protect them.” Tracy Thomas, Commercial Director
“It is so frustrating and disappointing when large, multiple retailers choose to take the lazy option of copying the design that a small, independent retailer like us has invested heaps of time and energy into creating, designing, sourcing, and testing.”
Equally, Great Little Trading Co. is proud to be a British retailer focussing on British designs. As specialists in children’s products and with over 20 years’ experience, they design accessories and furniture that kids will love and parents are proud to have in their home.
“For us, British design means echoing what children will interact within the big wide world. From a big red London Bus to the Tyrannosaurus Rex they see on their favourite book, we know what children love and enjoy learning about”.

As yet, GLTC hasn’t had a response from Homebase regarding their social media post and they have since approached Homebase directly. The support from their followers, however, has been exceptional; they have also received feedback from other small, independent brands who have experienced similar design infringements.
“We’re overwhelmed and humbled by the response we have received from our loyal and supportive customers.  We just can’t understand why the big retailers are so lazy -  we know we are not the only ones to experience this issue. We encourage others who find themselves in our shoes to raise awareness of the problem and expose their copycats by using the hashtag #getyourownideas. By making a stand now, we hope others may think twice in the future before copying us or other small, independent brands’ designs.”


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