IT MIGHT be a tough time for the retail industry, but thanks to the phenomenal success of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, Ipswich's book stores and sex shops have being doing a roaring trade.
The story of university student Ana Steele and her kinky relationship with wealthy entrepreneur Christian Grey has quickly become more than just a cult craze, with women of all ages snapping up copies by the hundreds of thousands.
While book shops have credited internet chat forums and general word of mouth with contributing to the success of the trilogy, it seems the subject matter has stirred the imaginations of readers.
Magique's Adult Shop manager Kellie Walton said the book was directly linked to an increase in the sales of bondage gear to female customers.
Anticipating a windfall, owners of the West Ipswich sex shop have read the book and are stocking up on some of the items mentioned in it.
"There are certain products that people are buying that are talked about in the book," Ms Walton said.
"It varies from what I would consider tame, all the way up to bondage with whips and crops
"In the day and age we live in I am actually a bit surprised that it has taken a book like this for people to realise that this doesn't have to be a taboo subject."
Book shop owners have been rejoicing in the success of Fifty Shades of Grey for different reasons. In Ipswich, the first instalment of the book has sold so well that the Angus and Robertson shop at Riverlink is awaiting arrival of an order for another few hundred copies.
Angus and Robertson Riverlink franchise owner Stephanie Walkem said people who weren't regular readers were now taking an interest in books.
Even other titles that fit into the erotic fiction genre - such as Destined to Play by Australian author Indigo Bloome; and The Secret Lives of Emma by Natasha Walker - were beginning to feed off the success.
"I think a lot of it is down to the phenomenon of social media," Ms Walkem said.
"There are a lot of customers who are telling us that their friends online told them that they need to read this book - that is how the book has gone so viral.
"What this is allowing us to do is to talk to people about books again. If someone wants the first book from the trilogy and we don't have it in stock, we can talk to them about what else they could be reading."
The popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey has inevitably led to talk of a film, with Irish actor Michael Fassbender as well as Ryan Gosling, tipped as possible candidates to play the part of Christian Grey. Mila Kunis, who had admitted to being a fan of the book, has been linked to the role of Ana Steele.