Buying your loved one a Valentine’s Day vacuum cleaner really sucks, say shoppers

Kissing the frog to turn it into a Prince is Lush store manager Shakira Bate. The store is in Doncaster's Frenchgate Centre.
Kissing the frog to turn it into a Prince is Lush store manager Shakira Bate. The store is in Doncaster's Frenchgate Centre.
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HAPPY Valentine’s Day, dear – here’s a vacuum cleaner!

The cleaning accessory has been unveiled as one of the worst ever February 14 gifts in a survey of shoppers in Doncaster’s Frenchgate shopping centre.

Benefit cosmetics' Georgina Raynor (right) and Debenham's supervisor for cosmetics Amanda Zeufack try out some gifts for Valentine's Day.

Benefit cosmetics' Georgina Raynor (right) and Debenham's supervisor for cosmetics Amanda Zeufack try out some gifts for Valentine's Day.

Bosses at the town centre mall asked their shoppers what nightmare gifts they had received. The vacuum cleaner was not even the worst of the bunch but it was revealed the man who came up with the idea is now an ex!

As one of her first Valentine’s Day gifts, another woman told the Frenchgate researchers she received a large bar of fruit and nut chocolate.

That may have been fine for many girlfriends but the woman in question has a severe nut allergy.

And one man told the survey he booked a posh restaurant without checking the menu first – his wife is a vegetarian and the menu had what he described as a “very limited choice” of vegetarian foods.

This year the Frenchgate brought in a group of advisors to try to avoid any more Valentines disasters.

They put on false wings to dress up as Cupid, and offered help to shoppers throughout the weekend.

A spokesman for the centre said: “When it comes to Valentine’s Day, men tend to wander off the beaten track to find something ‘special’ for the lady in their life, which usually ends in disaster.

“Women, too, have been known to get it wrong from time to time, as research by the Frenchgate Shopping Centre has found out.”

Some couples in the borough are expected to go beyond flowers and cards and opt for something more permanent.

Tattoo artist Beth Cust, who runs the Limited Edition Tattoo studio on High Street in the town centre, was running offers this week on heart tattoos.

She said: “We are not expecting to be booked up with hearts every day for the week, but we are expecting to get some in every day.”