Expecting a bump in sales of rope, gaffer tape and cable ties, B&Q staff have been told to be prepared for ‘sensitive’ requests from customers around the release of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.
Head office has sent out an email to its workforce on the shop floor, entitled ‘Staff Briefing – Preparation for Fifty Shades of Grey Customer Queries’.
It singled out the scene in the movie during which its S&M-loving protagonist Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, pops into the DIY shop where his soon-to-be restrainee Ana (Dakota Johnson) works, to get 'supplies'.
“Preview footage depicts a notable scene from the book where Christian Grey visits a hardware store to purchase rope, cable ties and tape,” it reads.
“Rather than bought for home improvement purposes, these products are intended to fulfil Mr Grey’s unconventional sexual pursuits.”
So far, so unsexy.
It continues: “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.
“All staff are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the content of Fifty Shades of Grey by reading the novel or watching the film upon its release.”
“Queries may be unusual and sensitive in nature but staff are reminded of B&Q’s commitment to assist customers in a polite, helpful and respectful manner. A level of discretion is also advised.
“Store managers are requested to monitor stock levels of rope, cable ties, masking tape and duck tape to ensure that supplies do not run low.”
Staff were later asked to ‘keep the contents of this briefing within the company’, but patently it was too good to resist.
A spokesperson from B&Q said: “B&Q remains committed to serving our customers in all their DIY needs and we strive to prepare our staff for any enquiry. Customer satisfaction is always our number one priority.”
'Fifty Shades of Grey' is out across the UK on February 13.
Image credits: Universal