Fifty Shades Of Grey: Hardware Stores Expecting Rise In Duct Tape And Rope Sales

Ticket sales for Fifty Shades of Grey are expected to go through the roof when the film hits theaters this weekend, as people attend screenings both to discover what the fuss is all about and so that they won't be excluded from Monday-morning water cooler chatter. It's expected to be a big boon for the 2015 box office - but the movie industry may not be the only one that the feature winds up benefiting. It turns out that hardware stores are getting prepared for an influx of customers as a result of the erotic novel adaptation as well.

The Daily Mail has gotten its hands on an internal memo from the UK-based DIY chainstore B&Q (formerly Block & Quayle) that informs employees that they need to start getting ready for customers who have been inspired to visit stores looking to purchase items that they can use in similar fashion to what's seen in Fifty Shades of Grey. Particularly inspiring this memo is one scene from the book/film where characters Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) go through a hardware store stocking up on "sex supplies" like duct tape, cable ties and rope. You can watch the scene for yourself in the video below:

While the note stresses that it is B&Q policy that all products be used for their "designed purposes," it also stresses that all employees should be polite and respond to all film/book-related questions in a "polite, helpful and respectful manner." Going further, it is encouraged that staff members go see Fifty Shades of Grey and familiarize themselves with the material. The company has also provided stores with copies of the novel that can be rented for one week at a time.

This all may seem a touch ridiculous, but apparently there is actual precedent for B&O's reaction to the upcoming film. The circulated memo notes that there actually was a spike in demand for certain products when Fifty Shades of Grey was first released in 2012. And while it isn't clear yet if hardware stores will see a similar spike, apparently the company is already preparing for the home video release, writing in the memo, "The date for the DVD and home entertainment release of Fifty Shades of Grey is yet to be confirmed but a second briefing may be issued closer to that time."

Fifty Shades of Grey will be in theaters worldwide on Friday.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.