Shops across the UK have braced themselves for the influx of inexperienced male shoppers desperately trying to find a last second Valentine's Day gift for their partners.
"We've put extra staff on," said Mark St John, manager of Lataman, Altrincham. "Especially in the lingerie section. We have also ensured that the women working in the lingerie section are attractive, friendly and very helpful."
This move is not to ensure that the men buy something appropriate for their partner, but instead to ensure that they buy the closest thing to hand, whether appropriate or not.
"We're not the only shop to be doing this," said St John. "All the major clothing retailers use this method on Valentine's Day to shift stock we'd otherwise never be able to sell."
The shops utilise the so called "Embarrassment Factor", and have trained their attentive attractive female staff to wait until the men are next to the stock that needs clearing, before approaching the man and asking if they need any help.
"It's a tried and tested method," said St John. "The man's reaction is instinctive. They will immediately grasp the nearest item, and claim that this is what they want, regardless of whether it will fit, is the right colour, or an item a woman wouldn't be seen dead in. So far today we have managed to shift our entire stock of size sixteen double-D pink swimsuits that have been hanging around since we accidentally ordered them last spring. Additionally, the men will never dare bring them back. It's win win for shops."
One male shopper scurrying out of the store was approached and asked what he'd bought.
"Um, erm, I don't know," he replied before hurrying off.