Some say it with flowers, others with chocolates – but it seems an increasing number of us are showing our affections with rings bought from Poundland.

The discount retailer told the BBC it had sold almost 40,000 engagement rings ahead of Valentine’s Day this year, nearly double last year’s tally.

The £1 “Bling Rings” and “Man Bands” are meant to be used as “placeholders” for proper rings, it said.

But one analyst described such promotions as “increasingly desperate”.

Spending on Valentine’s Day reached around £853m last year, up 7.8% on 2018 figures, according to the research firm Savvy. And unsurprisingly retailers are looking to cash in again this year.

Poundland says its Valentine’s range is its biggest yet, featuring more than 80 products ranging from fragrances to “adults