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Forget about getting between the sheets with your partner – a simple hug and kiss are what will set Brits’ pulses racing this Valentine’s Day, according to new research by The Co-operative.

And, while a great body unsurprisingly sets blokes heart rates soaring (38 per cent), girls get goose bumps over a sexy smile and gazing into their partner’s eyes (61 per cent).

The romantic survey of more than 500 UK adults was commissioned by The Co-operative to support its charity initiative with Hallmark Cards and the British Heart Foundation. This will see five pence from every Hallmark card sold at Co-operative stores nationwide donated to the charity’s Red for Heart campaign, as part of National Heart Month this February. In 2008 The Co-operative raised £60,000 for the charity.

According to the research, it seems the economic doom and gloom can’t put a dampner on our romantic spirit. A staggering 65 per cent of us are planning to spend up to £100 this year to set our partner’s heart a flutter, with 62 per cent saying their ideal day would include an intimate dinner à deux.

Despite this, rather than some expensive bling, a thoughtful card from our loved one tops the league of most sought after Valentine’s gifts, with 43 per cent claiming they would be heartbroken if they didn’t get a special delivery from the postman. Nearly a quarter of romantics are even pining for a card from a secret admirer.

Calum Kirk, Category Trading Manager at The Co-operative said: “It appears that receiving a card really sets people’s hearts a flutter and it’s such an easy, thoughtful way to express your true feelings. Through this charity initiative, not only will people prevent their loved one being heartbroken this Valentine’s Day but they will also be helping in the fight against heart disease by raising much needed funds for the British Heart Foundation.”

Douglas Campbell Rouse, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the British Heart Foundation added: “We’re very excited about our new Red for Heart fundraising campaign as part of National Heart Month this February and would like to encourage all romantics out there to buy a Hallmark card from The Co-operative and help us raise vital funds in the fight against heart disease. As well as making your loved one’s day, you could be making a real difference to the lives of many patients and their families.”

When it comes to those celebrities who get our pulse rates racing, Brad Pitt is the number one choice for the girls (65 per cent) with Simon Cowell topping the league of British blokes (15 per cent). The nation’s current sweetheart, Cheryl Cole, proves she has the X Factor for 43 per cent of boys.

And a final word of warning if you are planning a surprise this Valentine’s Day. The biggest turn off for over a quarter of Brits is a really soppy gift, followed by silly, childish humour (19%).

For more ways to go Red for Heart at work, home or school, get your free Fundraising Kit from For further information on The Co-operative call freephone 0800 0686 727 or email


Notes to Editors:


Established in the UK in 1958, Hallmark Cards is the UK's leading greeting card publisher. As well as greeting cards, Hallmark also produces related products such as wrapping paper, gift bags, social stationery, and gift products.

Research commissioned by the Leadership Factor

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from the Leadership Factor. Total sample size was 500 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22 December 2008 – 5 January 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

For more press information or images, please contact Lucy Warrington / Gaby O’Grady at Lucre T: 0113 243 1117 or email /

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