Hotly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey film hits New Zealand screens this week, with reports that retailers of certain types of toys are expecting a double whammy of customers with the film coinciding with Valentine’s Day.
EL James’ “risqué” novel received much hype and little praise, and the film seems to be going down that same path. However, with many fans soaking up the S&M actions, sex toy retailers are stocking up on whips, spanking paddles and the like, ready for an influx of Fifty Shades enthusiasts ready to try something new for Valentine’s weekend.
The film stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as the leads, and retailers are hoping viewers will be so inspired by their characters actions in the film, that they will want to experiment themselves.
Globally, the Fifty Shades novels fuelled huge increases in sales of sex toys. Neal Slateford, owner of British company Lovehoney, which worked with EL James to produce the official Fifty Shades range in 2012, told the Telegraph they are also expecting a run on demand, "We have experienced spikes in sales after each movie trailer has been released which gives us a good indication of just how influential this movie will be,” he says.
And it’s not just sex shops reaping the benefits of curious moviegoers.
A ‘leaked’ memo from B&Q, a DIY chain in Britain, told its stores to ready themselves for an onslaught of customers and ‘sensitive’ questions.
“Following the film release of Fifty Shades of Grey, B&Q employees may encounter increased customer product queries relating to rope, cable ties and masking or duck tape. Store Managers should anticipate the need for extra stock,” the memo 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,” it continues. “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.”
The memo encourages staff to ‘familarise’ themselves with the content of Fifty Shades by reading the novel or watching the film upon its release.
The film, the first of a planned trilogy, is being released in New Zealand tomorrow in time for Valentine's Day this weekend, and so far overseas critics of the film aren’t giving it much love. You can expect our review tomorrow.