B&Q urges staff to read 50 Shades of Grey and prepare for rush on bondage equipment

Fifty Shades of Grey. Pictured: Dakota Johnson as Anastasia "Ana" Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. Picture: PA Photo/Universal Pictures.
Fifty Shades of Grey. Pictured: Dakota Johnson as Anastasia "Ana" Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. Picture: PA Photo/Universal Pictures.
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B&Q staff in the Portsmouth area have been asked to prepare for an increase in demand for rope, cable ties and tape ahead of the release of the film Fifty Shades Of Grey.

A leaked memo tells staff at the hardware chain that they may be flooded with “potentially sensitive customer questions” after the Valentine’s Day release. Managers are told to bring in extra stock.

Staff are urged to read the book, an erotic novel by EL James, or watch the film so they can “familiarise themselves” with the story. To help them copies of the book will be delivered to each store and can be lent to staff on “a one week basis,” according to the memo.

The story follows the relationship between college graduate Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, 25, and businessman, Christian Grey, played by Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan, 32.

Grey introduces Steele to the world of bondage and dominant sexual role play and both the book and the film include a scene in which he visits a hardware store to buy rope, cable ties and tape.

The memo, sent to staff in Portsmouth and the rest of the UK, reads: “As the UK’s leading DIY store, we stock many of the products featured in this notable scene and then used later in the film.

“When the book was released in 2012 DIY and hardware stores in the UK and US reported increased demand of certain products and queries from customers as they tried to recreate their own Fifty Shades experiences. We need to be prepared for the same effect when the film is released this month.”

It also states that B&Q’s policy is that products should only be used for their designed purposes but staff should be aware of this new potential.

A B&Q spokesman said: “B&Q remains committed to serving our customers in all their DIY needs and we strive to prepare our staff for any inquiry. Customer satisfaction is always our number one priority.”