'Fifty Shades of Grey': U.K. Hardware Stores Stock Up on Bondage Props Ahead of Film's Release

Fifty Shades of Grey Hardware H 2015
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Staff at B&Q hardware stores will be provided with a copy of the erotic novel as the company expects a surge in demand for rope and duct tape.

Staff at a hardware chain in the U.K. are being prepped for a surge in demand for rope and duct tape after the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, reports the Independent

An internal memo at B&Q said that staff will be provided with a copy of E.L. James' erotic novel in preparation for what may happen after the Valentines Day release of the movie adaptation. "[E]mployees may encounter increased customer product queries relating to rope, cable ties and masking or [duct] tape,” the B&Q memo said. The company expects there to be a spike in the number of “potentially sensitive customer enquiries” and forewarned staff not to let stocks run low. 

The memo, sent to B&Q's 20,000 employees, also said: “All staff are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the content of Fifty Shades of Grey by reading the novel or watching the film upon its release. Copies of the book will be delivered to each store and can be lent to staff on a one week basis.”

Erotic drama Fifty Shades explores the world of S&M and bondage play. The Independent reports that U.K. hardware stores experienced a spike in demand for "certain products" after the release of the novel in 2012. In the film adaptation there is a scene where Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) visit a hardware store to buy rope and other bondage props.