Boots UK

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Boots UK Limited
Type Private limited company
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Healthcare
Beauty
Photography
Founded 1849 (Nottingham)
Founder(s) John Boot
Headquarters Nottingham, United Kingdom
Area served United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland
Key people Simon Roberts, Managing Director, Boots UK and Ireland
Products No 7 – Makeup
Soltan – Sun cream
Almus – Generic Drugs
Parent Alliance Boots
Subsidiaries Boots Opticians
Website Corporate website
Retail website

Boots UK Limited[1] (formerly Boots the Chemist) [2] is a pharmacy chain in the United Kingdom, with outlets in most high streets throughout the country and also in the Republic of Ireland. The company is a subsidiary of Alliance Boots, a parent company formed on 31 July 2006 by the merger of The Boots Company plc and Alliance UniChem plc.

Its head office is in the Nottingham Support Office in Nottingham.[3]

History[edit]

1849 to 2000[edit]

An advertisement for Boots from 1911

Boots was established in 1849, by John Boot. After his father's death in 1860, Jesse Boot, aged 10, helped his mother run the family's herbal medicine shop in Nottingham,[4] which became Boot and Co. Ltd in 1883, then Boots Pure Drug Company Ltd. in 1888. In 1920, Jesse Boot sold the company to the American United Drug Company.[5] However, because of deteriorating economic circumstances in North America Boots was sold back into British hands in 1933.[5] The grandson of the founder, John Boot, who inherited the title Baron Trent from his father, headed the company.[6]

Boots diversified into the research and manufacturing of drugs with its development of the Ibuprofen painkiller during the 1960s. The company was awarded the Queen's Award For Technical Achievement for this in 1987. In 1994, Boots divested production to BASF[7] and in 2006 sold the Nurofen brand to Reckitt Benckiser.[8]

In 1968 Boots acquired the 622-strong Timothy Whites and Taylors Ltd chain.[5] Boots expanded into Canada by purchasing the Tamblyn Drugs chain circa 1978. Most Canadian Boots stores were converted to Pharma Plus in 1989, although a handful of locations remained as late as 1993, if not later.[citation needed] In 1982, the company opened a new manufacturing plant in Cramlington, Northumberland.[5] In the early 1990s, Boots began to diversify and bought Halfords, the bicycle and car parts business in 1991.[9] It also developed the Children's World business but sold it in 1996 to Mothercare.[10] Halfords was sold in 2002.[11]

Boots Opticians Ltd. was formed in 1987 with the acquisition of Clement Clarke Ltd. and Curry and Paxton Ltd. Boots Opticians became the UK's second largest retail optics chain.

Boots diversified into dentistry in 1998, with a number of stores offering this service.[12] Boots sold its Do-It-All home furnishings chain to Focus in 1998.[13] Boots also made a venture into "Wellbeing" services offering customers treatments ranging from facials, homoeopathy, and nutritional advice to laser eye surgery and Botox but these services were abandoned in 2003, despite a launch that included a dedicated Freeview and Sky TV channel of the same name, and even redirecting web traffic from boots.com to wellbeing.com[14]

2000 to present[edit]

Boots branch in Yorkshire.
Boots branch in Belfast.

In late 2004, Boots sold the laser eye surgery services to Optical Express.[15]

On 1 October 2005, rumours began to circulate that Boots and Alliance UniChem were planning a merger. The merger was announced on 3 October by the Chairman of the Boots Group, Sir Nigel Rudd. The CEO Richard Baker left the business, and the new group took on the name Alliance Boots plc. The merger became effective on 31 July 2006.[16] The new group was subsequently bought by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Stefano Pessina, the deputy chairman of Alliance Boots, taking the company private.

On 19 June 2012, it was announced that Walgreens (America's largest drug store retailer) would purchase a 45% stake in Alliance Boots, costing $6.7bn. The deal is a long term plan to give maximum exposure to both brands, Boots more so in America and, Walgreens more so in the UK and in China through Boots presence in the market. Both companies will then seek to complete a full merger within three years costing an extra $9.5bn.[17]

On 5 August 2013, The Guardian reported that Boots UK has 4,000 staff on controversial zero-hour contracts.[18]

The Boots Charitable Trust[edit]

The company funds the Boots Charitable Trust, which is an independent registered charity in the UK, administrated by Nottinghamshire Community Foundation. The trust was established in the early 1970s to fund registered charities benefiting people who live in Nottinghamshire.[19]

The Boots Estate[edit]

The Boots Estate, located near the Nottingham suburb of Beeston, features a range of listed buildings. This includes the two principal factory buildings, D6 and D10, designed by Sir Owen Williams and built in 1932 and 1935-38 respectively. Both are Grade I listed. The former fire station, D34, is also by Williams and is Grade II listed. D90, the headquarters office building is Grade II* and was built to designs by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in 1966-68.[20] Staff have a restaurant, coffee and snack shops, newsagent, a branch of Boots the Chemist, an opticians branch and cash point situated within landscaped grounds. The grounds include the Millennium Garden which features a herb garden (with some plants that Jesse used in his original herbal remedies) in the shape of a goose foot – harking back to Jesse's original shop on Goose Gate in Nottingham.

The Boots Museum is now closed (due to cost cutting) and historical items are in storage.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boots UK Limited. "Boots UK". Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Previous name of the company http://www.companieslist.co.uk/00928555-boots-uk-limited
  3. ^ "Directions to the Nottingham Support Office." (Archive) Boots UK. March 2009. Retrieved on January 1, 2014. "1 Thane Road West, Nottingham, UK"
  4. ^ Viceira, L. M., & Mitusui, A. M. (2003) Pension Policy at The Boots Company PLC, Harvard Business Review, Havard Business School, 27 August 2003
  5. ^ a b c d "Boots Learning Store". Boots Learning Store. 4 December 1999. 
  6. ^ 'Interwar retail internationalization: Boots under American ownership', The International Review of Retail Distribution and Consumer Research, 7(2), 1997
  7. ^ "Boots is pacesetter for drug chains in the UK". Findarticles.com. 
  8. ^ Boots sells Nurofen in £1.9bn deal The Telegraph
  9. ^ And it's all thanks to a passion for a penny-farthing bicycle The Times
  10. ^ Boots in Childrenswear pact to sell Adams range The Telegraph
  11. ^ Boots sells Halfords The Guardian
  12. ^ "Boots to launch dental clinics". BBC News. 10 September 1998. 
  13. ^ By Gilleo, Ken; 700+ words. "Boots decides that for £68m Focus can do-it-all". 
  14. ^ Boots ditches well being strategy The Independent
  15. ^ Optical Express buys Boots laser business Optician Online
  16. ^ "Boots announces £7bn merger deal". BBC News. 3 October 2005. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Harry Wallop (19 June 2012). "Alliance Boots sells 45pc stake to Walgreens". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Simon Neville (5 August 2013). "McDonald's ties nine out of 10 workers to zero-hours contracts". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Charitable giving". Boots UK. 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  20. ^ "National Heritage List for England". 

External links[edit]