FORT MYERS, Fla. - "50 Shades of Grey," one of the best selling novels of all time, is now creating a rather curious clientele. People ages 18 to 80 are flocking to area adult stores to buy products inspired by the salacious series.
Customers who used to blush 50 shades of red, are now entering a grey area.
"They just couldn't get enough of it, so our sales picked up almos immediately after the book came out," said Barbie Imperial, Store Manager of Tender Moments in Cape Coral, "This is the biggest thing I've seen in over 12 years."
She says the novel has made her business more desirable and less taboo.
"We're getting a lot of new customers, that are seeking us out because of the book. It's out in the open now, everybody is reading it, everybody is talking about it," Imperial said.
Tender Moments has even tapped into the hype with a 50 Shades of Grey-themed wall and website, all to keep up with customers' demands.
"They'll mention the book specifically and we've got shopping lists for them that lists everything in the book," she said.
Owner Angela Wynn says the book is actually helping couples re-kindle their relationships.
"I've had girls tell me it's completely changed their marriage, saved it," Wynn said.
So why has story of a wealthy entrepreneur and a naive literature student surpassed Harry Potter book sales 2 to 1?
"The way it appeals to both women and men. It's every woman's fantasy. It truly is," she said.
The trilogy certainly has its detractors. It has been criticized for it's explicit content and treatment of women.
50 Shades was even banned for a time in both Collier and Charlotte county libraries. They said it lacked literary merit.