The most romantic day of the year can go from bliss to a battlefield, based on what someone buys for their loved one.

And now Sunderland BID is hoping to help avoid Valentine’s Day disasters – by highlighting the appeal of the Sunderland City Gift Card.

A survey previously carried out as part of Gift Card and Voucher Week, claimed that men were mainly the guilty partly in buying the wrong gifts, down to the fact that the majority of them hate shopping.

And that has been borne out by research by a leading high street jewellery chain, which highlighted that women had received everything from an ironing board cover to a tin of baked beans on February 14.

This year the situation is likely to be even more challenging, with everything but essential retail closed.

But Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, believes that buying a card – which can be purchased from £5 up to £500 – can help stop anyone seeing red on Valentine’s Day.

“The beauty of the card is that you’re not just giving something to a loved one but it will also be supporting the local economy,” said Sharon.

“It means the recipient can buy something they really want or even spend it in a restaurant or use it for a special experience, once lockdown is over.

“It’s the perfect choice for anyone who doesn’t like shopping – or can’t shop at the moment – and allows whoever receives it to spend it at their leisure, on something they can choose themselves.”

She added:” it’s also the perfect solution for a safe way to shop at a time when people should only be going out to buy essentials when it’s absolutely necessary.”

The gift card – which is an initiative set up by the BID and Sunderland City Council – can be spent at over 100 outlets across the cities including a range of retailers, restaurants, beauty salons and entertainment venues.

Anyone who received a gift card for Christmas may also want to spend it and splash out on their other half for Valentine’s Day.

Some of the many outlets it can be spent at include Crumb On It Tearooms at Holmeside, which offer afternoon tea to enjoy at home or, a romantic takeout from San Marino at Chester Road.

The card can be spent in a whole host of food stores, which means that anyone wanting to cook their own Valentine’s dinner can get ingredients from shops including Ibbitson’s and Thoburns Fresh Produce, both in Jacky White’s Market.

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone who does already have a gift card to use and buy some real treats to celebrate Valentine’s Day, said Sharon.

The Sunderland Gift Card can be purchased at which also lists all the outlets where the cards can be spent.

The Sunderland Gift Card is part of the Reopening High Streets Safely project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.