Royal Mail – subscription box services set to grow 72%

New research from Royal Mail into the UK subscription box market suggests that it will grow by 72% by 2022. This will amount to £1 billion annually, as compared to £583 million in 2017.

Subscription boxes are physical boxes of goods that are delivered on a regular basis, using a subscription rather than separate purchases.

Currently, Royal Mail say some 40.1 million subscription boxes are delivered annually, and this is set to grow to 65.3 million.

According to the Royal Mail research, the U.K.’s subscription box market is still in relative infancy by comparison to more mature markets such as the United States, though it now appears to be in a rapid phase of growth.

27.4% of UK consumers are currently subscribed to a subscription box service. Of this in the age group 25-34, more than half (52.1%) are signed up to at least one. 11.7% of 55-64 year olds, and 7.6% of the age group over 65 have subscriptions.

Oliver Bridge, Founder & CEO, Cornerstone (which runs a subscription box service) said “Based on our experience of rapid growth at Cornerstone, I put the popularity of subscription services down to two key factors: (1) the sheer convenience the subscription model can offer consumers versus spending time in a physical shop and (2) many authentic and engaging brands are now choosing to be digital-first rather than selling through traditional retailers. If consumers want to buy from independent, up and coming brands often the only way to do so is directly from the brands themselves, through the internet.”

A spokesperson from Royal Mail said “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. 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.”