Boots has its roots in the mid-19th century when John Boot, an agricultural worker, moved to Nottingham to start a new business. He opened a small herbalist store on Goose Gate in 1849, from which he prepared and sold herbal remedies. His business soon proved popular, especially with the working poor of Nottingham’s new industries, who could not afford the services of a doctor. After John’s death in 1860, his widow, Mary, continued trading, with the help of her young son, Jesse, who became a full partner when he was 21. The store continued to flourish, and, in 1877, Jesse took sole control.
“Health for a shilling”
Jesse’s talent for business was soon evident. He expanded the range of products he sold to include proprietary medicines and household necessities. He adopted a strategy of buying stock in bulk and selling his goods much cheaper than his competitors, advertising…
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