Almost two-thirds of British consumers are avid collectors in some way, amassing an estimated 44 billion worth of collectibles, according to a recent survey conducted by TNS for the UK-based coalition loyalty programme, Nectar.
Britain's 30 million collectors have gathered up items as diverse as music, videos, retractable pencils, and even steak knives from Harvester restaurants. According to the survey, the average collection comprises 75 items, and is worth 1,460 in total.
More conventional items like records and CDs top the list of things collected (44%) but other popular items include china (18%), antiques (13%), and art (11%).
Less conventional collectibles include miniature Formula One racing cars, masks from all around the world, wool, and radio jingles.
Who collects most?
Londoners turned out to be the most avid collectors: some 69% collect something, compared to the national average of 65%. They are closely followed by the Welsh (68%). People from the East and West Midlands were least interested in collecting anything (41%).
The report also identifies 25 - 34 year-olds as being the most likely to have a collection (68%) compared to just 56% of 16 - 24 year-olds. However, the 55 - 64 year-olds have spent the most on their collections, valuing them, on average, at just under 2000.
Nectar's operator, Loyalty Management UK (LMUK) commissioned the Britons' Collecting Habits Report to coincide with the latest expansion of its Nectar loyalty programme.
"We were surprised at just how much the British love to collect things," said Richard Campbell, marketing director for LMUK. "There are some Nectar collectors who collect points and, as soon as they have enough, redeem them for smaller rewards such as money-off shopping at Argos and Sainsbury's, or a McDonald's meal."
"Then," Campbell continued, "there are others who specifically save their points for something more special, like a day at a spa, a balloon trip, or a dream holiday."