James Thompson: Tie-up hands Boots a 'new window on the world'
Walgreens says it filled 819m prescriptions in its last financial year
John Boot and Charles Walgreen would not have had the foggiest idea that more than a 100 years after they founded their respective companies, they would be heading towards a full-blown marriage.
But just 52 years after Mr Boot opened his first store in Nottingham in 1849, Mr Walgreen purchased a drugstore where he had worked as a pharmacist in Chicago.
While he manufactured his own line of drugs and opened its 100th store in 1926, it was his grandson, Cork, who drove its expansion from the 1970s. Since then, Walgreens has grown sales for 37 consecutive years to make it America's biggest pharmacy chain with sales of $72bn across nearly 8,000 drugstores.
Such a huge network means Walgreens sells countless health and beauty products in its stores and online, as well as offering pharmacy services.
Demonstrating its scale, Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens, whose chief executive is Gregory Wasson, a pharmacist, says it filled 819 million prescriptions in its last financial year.
In recent years, the US company has been acquisitive – albeit on a much smaller scale to today's mega-deal with Alliance Boots. For instance, Walgreens acquired Happy Harry's in 2006, adding 76 stores, primarily in Delaware.
In 2010, the US market leader purchased the Duane Reade drugstore chain in New York. Stefano Pessina, the chairman of Alliance Boots, yesterday described Duane Reade as a "window on the world" to showcase certain products.
However, unlike in Walgreens' stores in the US, Mr Pessina probably has no plans to sell cheeseburgers in Boots on this side of the Pond.
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
iJobs Money & Business
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...
£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...