Nov 21, 2018
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Britons spend £583m on subscription boxes, but beauty boxes lag behind food and drink

Nov 21, 2018

More than £580m is spent on gifting and self-gifting subscription boxes in the UK, but health and beauty boxes take only a small chunk of that market, according to a new survey from Royal Mail.


While food and drink subscription boxes are estimated to rack up £291 million in spending ahead of Christmas, UK consumers will spend only £15m on gifting health and beauty boxes to others and £28m on self-gifting such boxes.

This underlines an important opportunity for companies selling monthly beauty boxes, particularly ahead of the Christmas period. Companies like Birchbox, Lookfantastic, Glossybox, Powder and Cohorted send customers a curated selection of beauty treats, from makeup to skincare, to fragrances every month, and stand to benefit from increased spending in the run up to Christmas.

Interestingly, the survey revealed that self-gifters are driving the subscription box gifting market, spending £423m on treating themselves with a subscription service, versus £160m on gifting the service to someone else. Additionally, 43% of those who signed up for a subscription box did so as a treat, reflecting the importance of of both gifting and self-gifting in this market.

“Gifting and self-gifting are key drivers for growth in the subscription box economy. The gifting market is important for subscription businesses, especially at this festive time of year, including gifting to others and the growing trend for self-gifting. By including a “surprise and delight” element to a subscription box service, businesses can tap into consumer demand in this space,” said a spokesperson for Royal Mail.

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