Brits are spending an average of £552 ($724) a year on subscriptions for everything from meal kits to entertainment platforms, new figures reveal.
The UK has a subscription economy worth around £323m, according to data from credit and debit card spending from Barclaycard Payments.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of UK households are signed up to regular subscription services, with the average Brit is currently spending £46 on subscriptions each month, Barclaycard found.
Demand for home delivery subscriptions, for products ranging from groceries to magazines, has skyrocketed due to people spending more time at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Spending on subscriptions increased by 39.4% for the year to July, according to Barclaycard.
Businesses rushed to take advantage of the growing popularity of subscriptions, with 22% of retailers rolling out a subscription service during lockdown.
Kirsty Morris, managing director for account development at Barclaycard Payments, said: “Subscription services provide an exciting opportunity to engage consumers with products and services at home, whether that’s digital content or streaming services, meal kits, or more personalised offerings such as bespoke alcohol kits or on-demand exercise classes.
“For many retailers this has meant adapting quickly to offer new products and services to respond to the growing demand.
Retail consultant Mary Portas said: “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.
“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.”