Nearly half of retailers heavily reliant on Valentine’s Day expect sales to remain flat or increase on last year.

A third of small and medium-sized gift shops, jewellers, florists, card shops and chocolatiers believe there will be a decrease in sales, a survey for Visa Commercial found.

One in three of such businesses typically hope to generate at least 10 per cent of their annual sales in the week running up to Valentine's Day.

One in five respondents expect to have taken on extra staff for the period, including 58 per cent of florists. However, gift and card shops will “almost certainly” not follow that trend.

Jewellers appear to be the least affected by the Valentine’s period. None of the jewellers surveyed expect a poor Valentine’s to directly lead to the collapse of their business, while two thirds expect sales for the period to be less than 10 per cent of overall turnover this year.