Saxmundham: Hardware shop cashing in on Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon as sales of duct tape and cable ties rocket

IT is a phenomenon that has taken the literary world by storm.

And now a tiny hardware shop in Saxmundham is cashing in on the success of erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

Gary Smith, owner of Fishers Hardware, said he had seen an increase in the sale of duct tape, cable ties and rope since the release of the E.L. James trilogy.

And – to the amusement of the town – he has put a notice in his window to reassure customers he has plenty of the goods in stock.

“Every time we get someone in who wants to buy these products, I have a little joke with them,” he said. “I don’t think hardware shops have ever been so popular with young women.”

The book – which features a storyline involving bondage and is being read by hundreds of millions across the globe – has already prompted businesses to bring out a range of merchandise to include fragrances and lingerie linked to the brand.

The Vintage Books trilogy have sold 31 million e-book and print copies in English-language markets worldwide.

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There is also a Hollywood movie in the pipeline about the story – which sees young Anastasia wooed by super-rich Christian Grey.

Mr Smith said: “With the books causing such a stir, I thought it would be funny to make some tongue-in-cheek reference to the increase in sales of certain items.

“It has certainly caused a lot of laughter. People walk past in the street, stop and have a giggle at our notice and then pull out their cameras.”

One resident of Saxmundham said the gimmick had the whole town talking.

“Everyone thinks our little town is slow on the uptake but no… perhaps Christian Grey has a holiday house in Suffolk,” she said.

A picture of the sign in the window of Fishers Hardware has been uploaded on to social networking sites and has been shared with thousands of people.