Contact Us

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Sparks Surprising Retail Boom — Dollars and Sense

rachelkramerbusseldotcom, Flickr

The juggernaut known as ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ hasn’t just been a boon for its publisher — the bondage-themed erotic novel has also brought a welcome surge of business to sex toy shops, clothing retailers and even hardware stores.

Why hardware stores? They sell rope, of course — including the smaller, softer nylon type that’s comfortable in the bedroom.

“Oh, we’ve been selling rope to women,” says Clifton Kahn, owner of New York City’s Lexington Hardware. “I’d say tenfold more rope than usual in the last six months. The women are definitely buying, and it’s still continuing.”

Sex shop Babeland reports visits to the bondage section of its web site have spiked 81 percent in the past few months, with many customers buying items like riding crops and handcuffs. “You’d be surprised to see how very ordinary these people are who are coming in,” said Babeland co-founder Claire Cavanah. “The book is just an explosion of permission for them to try something new in the bedroom.”

Even staid retailer Brooks Brothers is getting in on the action, selling a line of neckties like the ones worn by the kinky Christian Grey in ‘Fifty Shades.’

“The book broke down a wall,” said one reader. “I mean, it’s so terribly written — it makes ‘Twilight’ read like Shakespeare — but you can’t put it down. You can’t stop thinking about it.”

[New York Post]

Best of News Talk 940

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for VOA VIP Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive VOA VIP Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.