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Boots the Chemist

672 of 1160 nominations


Boots the Chemist

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Boots the Chemist

The name "Boots", in white letters on a blue background, is a familiar sight in almost every English high street. The copperplate style of the writing is a reminder of Boots the Chemist's Victorian origins. In 1849, John Boot, a former farm labourer, opened a herbalist's shop in Goose Gate, Nottingham. John and his wife Mary collected the herbs and made the medicines themselves.

It was John's son, Jesse Boot (1850-1933) who transformed the business from a small herbalist into a pharmaceutical giant, with branches throughout the country. Under Jesse, the company branched out by selling books and fancy goods, and also opened a chain of lending libraries, the Boots Booklovers' Library. By the time of Jesse's death, there were almost 1,000 Boots shops. 

In the 1920s, the company began to produce cosmetics, launching the famous Number 7 brand in 1935, with its slogan, "the modern way to loveliness".

Despite fierce competition from supermarket chains, in the 21st century, Boots remains the UK's leading high street chemist.


Your comments

With a sign that everyone recognises and presence in virtually every town, Boots the Chemist is a department store that everyone goes to. Today it is so much more than a chemist and was the number one choice for my Christmas shopping in the past.

Martin Milner

It is interesting that you keep discontinueing Botanics eye make up remover and I am unable to find any one in your stores to tell me why or if there is any chance of you stocking it again
Kath Mckenna

I have always thought that Boots the Chemist was up-to-date in make-up, ideas and hair products.
Elaine Kendall

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer