Sexy novel inspires niche market

We’re not making this up: The steamy, chick-lit best seller “Fifty Shades of Grey” has led to a niche market in at least one hardware store.

According to a segment on WCAU of Philadelphia, Penndel Hardware of Penndel, Pa., is seeing an increase in sales of products and materials used by characters in the novel about a relationship fueled by sadomasochism and bondage. 

One of the key items in this niche: soft cotton rope. The store keeps a list of “Fifty Shades of Grey” items behind the counter, according to the report.