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Nearly 88 million subscription boxes delivered in 2020

2020 saw UK consumers spend nearly £1.4 billion on subscription box purchases, with almost 88 million deliveries made to consumers, according to the Royal Mail’s new UK Subscription Box Market report.

The market has more than doubled in size in the last three years and is set to be worth £1.8 billion by 2025. The popularity of subscription boxes soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than half (55%) of subscription box consumers saying that they signed up for such a service because they wanted to treat themselves.

Almost a third (30%) of UK shoppers are now signed up to at least one subscription box service, up from 27% in 2017. The survey also found that almost three-quarters (74%) of subscription box shoppers are signed up to more than one subscription scheme while the number of subscribers signed up to four or more schemes has risen to 56% (up from 37% in 2017).

The appeal of subscription boxes continues to be highest among younger shoppers, with 66% of 18-24 shoppers signed up to at least one subscription box. Under 45s subscription box shoppers are signed up to the most subscription plans, with those aged 35-44 signing up to an average of 4.6 subscription schemes.

On average, shoppers said that had been signed up to subscription boxes for nine months; up from 5.6 months in Royal Mail’s previous report.

Reasons that shoppers signed up for subscription boxes themselves include: because they like the subscription model (24%), as a treat (23%), they were not able to visit physical stores due to COVID-19 (17%) and as a result of surplus income due to COVID-19 (15%).

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