Boots – the pharmacy, cosmetics and snacks store

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Started in 1849 by trader John Boot and now one of the most recognisable brands on the British high street, Boots has undergone enormous changes since its foundation.

Previously marketed as Boots the Chemist, the company is still primarily regarded as a pharmacy but has now branched out into a variety of products including meal deals, cosmetics and grooming.

Boots in Altrincham

Still holding their head offices in their base of Nottingham, England, the business is now owned by parent company Alliance Boots (which is also responsible for the Chinese wholesaler Guangzhou Pharamceuticals). Boots is also renowned for producing a number of their own ranges – with No7 (make-up and skincare) and Soltan (suncream) both subsidiaries operated by the corporation and sold in store.

Boots has continually been a business that has been willing to diversify in order to try and earn a niche in new markets – past failed ventures have included dentistry, homeopathy and Botox, with the company also having previously owned the Mothercare, Do-It-All and aspects of the Optical Express brands.

One of the major successes of the brand historically was the creation of the painkiller ibuprofen. Initially used as a hangover cure for one of the creators and patented by Boots in 1961, the drug earned the company the Queen’s Award for Technical Achievement and has since passed into generic use.