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Explore the role of management

The business that I will base this investigation on will be Boots the chemist. Boots is a nationwide chain store that accommodates the outlets of the UK’s town and city centres and out of town retail parks. They are known for selling and supplying medicines and prescriptions alongside toiletries such as soap, shampoo and hair products and also baby clothing and products. They have more recently began to move into different markets such as the electronics, cosmetics, toys etc. the brand is still modern and alive today in 2006 so it is hard to believe that the original Boots company was founded in the 19th century.

The company began and took its name from John Boot who was born in Radcliffe-On-Trent in 1815. At the time Herbal remedies were popular but many poor people could not afford the services of a physician. John Boot’s mother had used herbs for healing and he may also have been familiar with the remedies. In 1849, with the assistance of his father-in-law and the support of the local Methodist community, John opened The British and American Botanic Establishment at 6 Goose Gate, hoping to provide physical comfort to the needy.

The first Boots store was born.

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But after years of hard work and ill-health, John Boot died in 1860, at the age of 45. Mary took over management of the shop, with the help of her ten year-old son, Jesse, who gathered and prepared herbs as well as serving behind the counter Boots stores went onto expand and money coming into the business was spent well on keeping the family going and also contributing a large amount of money to charity, the main example being Jesse Boot contributing funds to the rebuilding of the Albert hall.

The company also began to expand beyond herbal remedies and charity work and went into the bookkeepers market. The first circulating libraries in the UK were formed during the mid-eighteenth century and allowed books to be borrowed for a specified loan period after payment of a subscription. Several libraries were attached to shops, notably W. H. Smith and Harrods. The Boots Book Lending service was established in 1898 at the instigation of Florence Boot, initially in the small number of shops which had a stationery department.

The early libraries were small and filled with second hand stock. The first Head Librarian was appointed in 1900. By 1903, when there were 300 Boots stores across the country, 143 had a Booklovers’ Library, with 6 libraries in London and 8 in Nottingham. Members could take out a book at any one of the library branches and return it to any other. However by the 1960s subscription libraries became less popular, possibly because of the lower cost of paperbacks, the growing investment in public libraries and other sources of entertainment.

There were also commercial pressures influencing the use of sales space in stores. In 1961 W. H. Smith closed their libraries and Boots took over their subscribers. In 1965 the announcement was made that the Boots Booklovers’ Libraries, now with only 121 branches and 140,000 subscribers, were to close. The last branches closed in February 1966. As the 20th century progressed focus was more on cosmetics than anything else and the pharmacy attached to most Boots store. Boots introduced their own range of cosmetics known as No. 7 and 17 and more recently the natural collection.

More people were buying into this market as it was booming due to popular stores such as the body shop. Today the company has progressed and is now a massive chain store. It is floated on the stock market which allows for more stores to be opened in different fashions in different parts of the nation. Smaller and larger stores are placed in nearly every city with each one designed around the needs of the customers in that community. They now have 1,400 stores and in nearly every store there is a pharmacist able to offer guidance and expertise on healthcare matters.

Healthcare is a growing market as the population ages and the need to make health provision easier and more convenient means the role of the pharmacist is increasing in our everyday lives. Boots are interested in opening a new Boots store in Stoke-on-Trent in an up can coming location known as Discover Trentham. Primary and secondary research has been carried out in the form of Business Link and Boots are now using this research and guidance to actually open this new Boots store in Trentham.

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