UK is now a “subscription society” with the average Brit spending £552 a year on subscription retail services

Industry

Subscription retail services in the UK have experienced a massive boom during the coronavirus pandemic, rising a 39.4 per cent during July alone.

The UK has become a “subscription society”, according to a new study from Barclaycard which found the market is now worth £323 million.

Over a fifth of UK retailers now offer a subscription service, while the average Brit spends a whopping £552 a year on entertainment, food, grooming and fashion subscriptions.

Lockdown has helped the industry grow dramatically, seeing 10 per cent of retailers launch their first subscription service between March and June and customers increasingly relied on home delivery.

READ MORE: Walmart to launch Amazon Prime subscription rival Walmart Plus

More than 80 per cent of retailers believe the popularity of subscription services has risen during lockdown, while 75 per cent believe subscription services offer a more reliable and predictable source of income.

“Subscriptions were already a vital tool for UK retailers prior to the pandemic, helping businesses to remain nimble and transport their product or experience direct to their customers’ homes,” retail heavyweight Mary Portas said.

“Due to the prolonged period of lockdown, the public has grown accustomed to the range of products on offer, as well as the ease at which they can be regularly surprised and delighted by the brands they care about.

“As a nation, we face the challenge of a lifetime, finding ourselves in a precarious position financially, staring into a recession and with many forecasting more difficult times to come.

“We should remind ourselves that businesses in the UK have always been recognisable by their ingenuity and ability to pinpoint their customers’ needs. Now, with many pivoting towards the subscription economy, we have further proof retailers are willing to try new things to find untapped revenue streams.”

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