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Boot, Jesse

Boot, Jesse (1850–1931). Boot was born in Nottingham, where his father, a Wesleyan lay preacher, ran a herbal medicines shop. Jesse followed in his father's footsteps. Their sales to co-religionists benefited from John Wesley's advocacy of herbal medicines. During the later 19th cent., Boot saw the advantages of meeting demands for mainstream medicine and employed a legally licensed pharmacist to dispense drugs in every shop. Retailing activities grew by offering a wide range of general items as well as Boot's own pharmaceuticals. The business became nation-wide by establishing branches and by purchasing chains of other retailers, for example Day's in the London area. In 1920 Jesse Boot sold the business to the American company Rexall. However, in 1933 the latter's financial difficulties enabled the Boot family to regain control. Currently the firm is an international corporation based in Nottingham.

Ian John Ernest Keil

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