Ah Mr Grey, we’ve been expecting you…

Posted: August 6, 2014

I’ve been trying to think of the last time the pleasure products sector had a ‘real world’ event to look forward to which it can capitalise on, and I can’t think of a single example. I am not referring to annual occasions, such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day, when we are competing with every other retail sector anyway, but one-off ‘happenings’.

The release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is a ‘real world’ event, by any definition of the term. This is not just a movie, this is a movie based on books which have sold over 100 million copies, and which were responsible for creating the great jiggle ball shortage of 2012 (as I’m convinced future historians will refer to it as).

In addition to lighting a fire under the arse of the entire existing BDSM product sector that year, FSoG also became a phenomenally successful brand in its own right. The subsequent ‘official’ toys and bondage accessories were obvious moves but the distinctive font now also adorns a lingerie collection, a range of sensual care products, games, jewellery, and even wine (in White Silk and Grey Red Satin varieties, in case you were wondering).

In comparison to 2012 and 2013, 2014 has so far been a bit of a gap year for Fifty Shades. We won’t be saying that about 2015 when this cultural phenomenon gets the Hollywood hype machine behind it. Forewarned is forearmed and not only do we know that it’s coming, we also know the exact date of its arrival, allowing adult retailers to draw up their battle plans and form strategic alliances well in advance.

The release of the movie will truly be a one-off happening for the pleasure products sector so I hope we all make the most of it. You can bet your mortgage that Lovehoney will. Indeed, the firm has developed a new batch of Fifty Shades toys which it is releasing this month. The original range was not only better than some of us expected but also better than it probably needed to be, and the same can be said for the new arrivals. I’m looking forward to hearing mainstream news reports next February about stock shortages and them changing hands online for several times their SRP. Hey, stranger things have happened.

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