Sainsbury’s Home research: 1 in 10 Brits last sent a handwritten card or letter over five years ago

Sainsbury’s Home research: 1 in 10 Brits last sent a handwritten card or letter over five years ago

London, 2017-Apr-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — New research reveals true extent of the demise of handwritten correspondence in the 21st century; Tech generation set to revive flagging penmanship skills.

  • The average Brit last sent a handwritten card or letter 17 months ago (with 45-54 year olds the worst offenders)
  • 1 in 10 Brits last sent a handwritten card or letter over five years ago
  • 1 in 10 men haven’t sent a handwritten card or letter for over 11 years
  • However: 7 in 10 Brits would prefer to receive a handwritten card or letter rather than an email or e-card
  • 74% of 16-24 year olds would prefer to receive a handwritten note from friends rather than e-communication

A whopping 74% of 16-24 year olds would prefer to receive a handwritten note from friends rather than a typed note busting the myth that young people have moved on from writing by hand. Ironically the iGeneration could be the ones to save the dying practice of penmanship.

The research, commissioned by Sainsbury’s Home, found the average Brit hasn’t sent a handwritten card or letter in nearly a year and a half (17 months ago); whilst the average 45-54 year old hasn’t sent a handwritten card/letter for 20 months. Over 1 in 10 Brits (11%) said they have not sent a handwritten card/letter in the past five years.

Yet despite these statistics it’s clear the nation is still in love with traditional penmanship – almost 7 in 10 (68%) Brits prefer to receive a handwritten letter or card rather than a less personal email or e-card.  A carefully penned love letter appears to be the stuff of fantasy in the UK; 12% of men haven’t sent a handwritten card or letter for over 11 years although 71% of women would prefer to receive a handwritten note from their loved one than an email.

The national survey of 2,000 people across the UK shows a significant decline in handwritten communications although in contrast the national supermarket chain has seen a 10% YOY uplift in pen & pencil sales.  Suggesting the nation is using their pens & pencils to write shopping lists, doodle & draw or take notes at work rather than handwrite cards and letters for friends and family.  Over 4 and a half million pens and pencils were sold across Sainsbury’s stores last year – which if lined up end to end in a single line would be long enough to stretch the length of Great Britain (approximately 700km long).

Director of Non Food Trading at Sainsbury’s, James Brown commented, “Tapping and texting on a keyboard has taken over as the primary method of communication in the modern age and although that’s unlikely to change anytime soon, we hope that by revealing these figures we might encourage the nation to send more handwritten cards and letters and revive the dying art of penmanship. We know receiving something handwritten makes the recipient feel special so an easy win with friends and family would be to swap to writing something by hand rather than tapping into a device.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • Data: Sainsbury’s Home commissioned Censuswide to poll over 2,000 UK consumers, April 2017
  • National Stationery Week runs in the UK from 24th April to 30th April 2017

Regional breakdown for “Would you prefer receiving a handwritten letter or card from a friend than an email/e-card?” in descending order:

  • London 73.2%
  • South West 72.3%
  • West Midlands 70.3%
  • South East 69.9%
  • Yorkshire & Humber 69.3%
  • North East 69%
  • Scotland 68.8%
  • East 66.6%
  • North West 63.5%
  • Wales 62.4%
  • East Midlands 62%
  • Northern Ireland 60.3%

Regional breakdown for mean number of months since last sending a handwritten card or letter in descending order:

  • London 27months
  • East Midlands 20 months
  • Wales 19 months
  • Yorkshire & Humber 18 months
  • South East 17 months
  • North East 16 months
  • North West 16 months
  • Northern Ireland 16 months
  • East 15 months
  • West Midlands 13 months
  • Scotland 13 months
  • South West 12 months

For corporate press enquiries please contact press_office@sainsburys.co.uk or call 020 7695 7295.

SOURCE: J Sainsbury plc