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Subscription commerce in the UK: €1.12 billion by 2022

Subscription commerce in the UK: €1.12 billion by 2022

The subscription box market in the United Kingdom was worth about 654 million euros last year, but it’s forecast to be valued at 1.12 billion euros by 2022. This means, the UK subscription box market will grow by 72 percent during the next four years.


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This is according to a new report commissioned by Royal Mail, with a survey among 2,000 UK shoppers and 53 directors and senior managers. The study suggests the number of deliveries will grow from 40.1 million to an estimated 65.3 million.

Subscription commerce now embraces everything

“Spurred on by the growth of mobile devices, subscription commerce has moved on from a past focus on magazines and newspapers to embrace everything from recipe food kits, to shaving gear and self-care”, Royal Mail explains.

The subscription market in the United Kingdom can’t be compared to the mature market in the US for example, but still, it’s growing fast. Over one in four consumers (27.4 percent) is currently signed up to a subscription box services, with over half of 25-to-34-year-olds having signed up to at least one.

Male grooming subscriptions are booming

Also, 30.6 percent of men have signed up, compared to 24.3 percent of women. According to Royal Mail, this reflects the strong growth of male-focused boxes, such as male grooming and boxershorts services. “The report suggests that male grooming subscriptions could attract almost two million members by 2022, making them the fastest growing subscription category.”

58.6% of companies want to invest in subscription commerce

Royal Mail did not only ask questions to consumers, but also surveyed businesses. About six in ten companies said they want to invest in new or existing subscription services in the next year. And 72.4 percent intend to add new products to their service during the next twelve months. Although subscription commerce seems to be a hype right now, over half of the businesses Royal Mail surveyed think subscription will remain a major focus for them in the future.

“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 says. “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.”