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British men are often left disappointed on the most romantic day of the year, according to new research.

A survey by Debenhams revealed that over half of all men questioned (53%) often felt let down by the gifts they received from their partners.

Women on the other hand were mainly happy with the gifts from their other halves (62%) but a whopping 74% admitted finding it difficult to choose the perfect present for their man.

Spokesperson for Debenhams Ed Watson says; “It has always been the men asking for help when it comes to gift buying but now women have swallowed their pride and admitted to being clueless Cupids.”

“Men have got much better at Valentine’s gift buying in recent years – women now need to catch up.”

The 200 year old retailer has enlisted the help of ‘Cupid’s little helpers’ in the shape of their in-store personal stylists who are on hand to help to help struggling gift buyers of any gender banish Valentine disappointment.

Ed Watson added: “Our research shows that men would much rather have something stylish and practical rather than a token novelty gift.”

“The rainy weather is one of the most influencing factors on gifts this year with macs and umbrellas high on many men’s wish lists.”

“Better gifts don’t necessarily mean shelling out and many men said they don’t expect an expensive gift – merely something that is thoughtful.”

Retailers and restaurateurs are tipping this February 14th to be one of the most popular Valentines Days in years as it falls on a Friday at the end of the working week, when people are ready to make an effort to go out and enjoy themselves.


Cupids little helpers’ top ten gift recommendations are as follows:

  1. Calvin Klein boxer shorts £23
  2. Penguin paperback – 50 Ways To Beat a Hangover £5.99
  3. Paco Rabanne 1 Million WAS £40 NOW £36
  4. Red Herring black silicone watch £26
  5. A Hammond & Co. leather weekend bag £150
  6. Natio for Men travel pack. Clear zip bag containing shampoo, face wash, firming moisturiser, smooth shave gel £16.80
  7. Incognito compact folding umbrella with cover £7.50
  8. A Hammond & Co. by Patrick Grant mac £110
  9. Thomas Nash silver coloured dog and bone shaped cufflinks WAS £20 NOW £8.
  10. The Jelly Bean Factory 700g gift jar (no artificial colours or flavours) £16

Debenhams Valentine’s gifts are available in all stores nationwide and online at

Debenhams personal stylists are a complimentary service available in 115 stores nationwide, simply call 08445 61 61 61 for an appointment.



Notes to Editors 1,500 customers were surveyed by Debenhams in February 2014. History of Valentine’s Day St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell. The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards and gifts have expanded away from the traditional flowers and chocolates. Debenhams Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of 240 stores across 28 countries.  Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions. In the UK, Debenhams has a top four market share in womenswear and menswear and a top ten share in childrenswear.  It leads the market in premium health and beauty. Debenhams is the eleventh biggest UK online retailer by traffic volume and in March 2013 was awarded “International Growth Initiative of the Year” and “The Retail Technology Initiative of the year for Endless Aisle” at the Oracle Retail Week Awards. Debenhams has been investing in British design for 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands.  Current designers include Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, FrostFrench, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Jonathan Kelsey, Ben de Lisi, Julien Macdonald, Jane Packer, Jenny Packham, Pearce Fionda, Stephen Jones, Preen, Janet Reger, John Rocha, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Ashley Thomas, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson.


Debenhams Press Office
020 3549 6420 /

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