Sep 10, 2018
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UK subscription box market to soar says Royal Mail

Sep 10, 2018

The UK subscription box market is forecast to grow by 72% by 2022, and male grooming is the fastest growing subscription category, according to a new report commissioned by Royal Mail.


There are plenty subscription boxes in the UK, delivering everything from chocolate and tea to socks, beauty products and t-shirts.

Their creativity and convenience are driving the market, which is forecast to hit £1 billion by 2022, compared to just £583 million estimated spend in 2017. And whilst the UK market is still relatively new compared to mature markets in the US, subscription brands are exceeding their expectations as the number of deliveries per year increases.

According to a survey of 2,000 UK shoppers, 27.4% of Britons are currently signed up to a subscription box service, with 25-34 year olds more likely to be signed up to at least one than 55-64 year olds and over 65 year olds.

Meanwhile, 30.6% of men have signed up to a subscription service, compared to 24.3% of women. This explains the rapid growth of male-focussed boxes, with the category expected to attract 2 million members by 2022.

Beauty boxes are also thriving, and fuelling a predicted rise of 229.8% in health and beauty revenue between 2017 and 2022, according to the report. Unlike male grooming boxes, which cater to the replenishment needs of their subscribers, beauty boxes offer the excitement of trying out new products. Some of the UK’s biggest beauty subscription boxes include Glossybox, Cohorted and Look Fantastic.

“Our report demonstrates demand amongst consumers for subscription box services, and an appetite amongst UK businesses to invest time and money to participate in the future growth of this part of the delivery market,” a spokesperson for Royal Mail said.

“To date, the boom in subscription box services has largely been driven by start-ups. This forecast of further growth offers an opportunity for existing businesses and budding entrepreneurs to get out there and offer their own services. We’re here to help them along the way, wherever they are in the UK.”

Almost 60% of the businesses included in the survey are planning to invest in new or existing subscription services in the next year, and 72.4% intend to add new products to existing services.

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