Our Rich History


See what we've accomplished during our 170+ years of service. 

1892 opening of a Boots store in Pelham Street, Nottingham.

John Boot opens first Boots store, selling herbal remedies, in Goose Gate, Nottingham, UK.


The Boots business begins to develop under Jesse Boot, John Boot's son.


Charles R. Walgreen Sr. purchases the drugstore where he worked as a pharmacist in Chicago, U.S.


Walgreen Co. is formed and the drugstore chain expansion begins with the opening of its second store.


Walgreens invents the malted milkshake.


Walgreens stock becomes publicly traded.


Boots opens its 1,000th store in the UK.


Walgreens stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


Boots launches No7 cosmetics.


UniChem group is formed in the UK to serve wholesale pharmaceutical products to independent pharmacies.


Walgreens begins the transition to self-service stores.


The first self-service Boots stores are trialed in London, UK.


Walgreens enters the Puerto Rico market.


Walgreens becomes the first major drugstore chain in the U.S. to put its prescriptions into child- resistant containers.


Boots launches Ibuprofen (Brufen) in the UK.


Pharmaceutical wholesaler Alleanza Farmaceutica is founded by Stefano Pessina in Italy.


The first Intercom pharmacy computers are installed in Walgreens pharmacies in Iowa, as the first step toward connecting all Walgreens pharmacy systems nationwide.


Pharmaceutical wholesaler Di Pharma is founded by Ornella Barra in Italy.


Walgreens opens its 1,000th store.


Walgreens opens its first drugstore with a drive-thru pharmacy.

Alliance Santé group is formed from the merger between Alleanza Salute Italia and French pharmaceutical wholesalers ERPI and IFP.


Alliance UniChem is formed from the merger of Unichem and Alliance Santé.


Boots becomes the largest retail pharmacy chain in Ireland.


Walgreens.com launches its online pharmacy.


Walgreens becomes the first drugstore to offer prescription labels in multiple languages chainwide.


Alliance UniChem acquires 29.99 percent of German pharmaceutical wholesaler ANZAG.


Alliance UniChem merges with Boots Group to form Alliance Boots.


Alliance Boots wholesale businesses begin to be rebranded to Alliance Healthcare.

Alliance Boots is privatized.


Merger of Boots Opticians and Dollond & Aitchison to form the second largest optical chain in the UK.


Walgreens completes its acquisition of the New York-based Duane Reade drugstore chain.


Walgreens acquires a 45 percent stake in Alliance Boots, taking the first step in the strategic partnership to create the first global pharmacy- led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

Walgreens and Alliance Boots form Walgreens Boots Alliance Development joint venture in Bern, Switzerland.


Walgreens and Alliance Boots announce a strategic, long-term relationship with AmerisourceBergen to collaborate on global supply chain opportunities.


Walgreens exercises option to complete second step of its strategic partnership with Alliance Boots, forming Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) through the full combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots.

Alliance Boots completes the acquisition of a 12 percent stake in Nanjing Pharmaceutical

Company Limited, a major Chinese pharmaceutical wholesaler.

Alliance Boots completes acquisition of Farmacias Benavides in Mexico and Farmacias Ahumada in Chile.


WBA acquires 1,942 Rite Aid drugstores in the U.S.


WBA joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

In July, the company completed an acquisition to acquire a 40 percent minority stake in GuoDa, a leading retail pharmacy chain in China.


In March, Walgreens pledged in a White House meeting its commitment to aid the Administration in providing access to COVID-19 testing.

In December, a Walgreens pharmacist administered one of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., in a long-term care facility, as the company continued to play a growing and integral role as part of the nationwide response effort.


In July, WBA and VillageMD announced that Walgreens would be the first national pharmacy chain to offer full-service doctor offices co-located at stores.


In November, Walgreens announced the launch of myWalgreens, a complete reinvention of its customer loyalty program to offer customers extensive new benefits.


In January, WBA appointed Rosalind Brewer as Chief Executive Officer. Brewer is a 35-year consumer and retail industry veteran with deep experience in transformational, operational and digital strategies.


In January, WBA made a majority investment in iA, a leading-edge provider of software enabled pharmacy automation solutions. The investment represents an important step to enable pharmacists to expand their role in patient care.


In April, Walgreens opened its first micro-fulfillment center using automation technology to fill prescriptions, reducing workload in Walgreens retail pharmacies.


In April, WBA launched the No7 Beauty Company, a consumer-led beauty business creating beauty brands for every skin type, ethnicity, age and texture that everyone can trust.


In June, WBA completed the sale of its Alliance Healthcare businesses to AmerisourceBergen Corporation, allowing WBA to further focus on expanding its core retail pharmacy businesses and bring more innovative healthcare offerings to customers and patients.


In October, WBA announced its new consumer-centric healthcare strategy to drive sustainable, long-term profitable growth. The strategy features the launch of the company’s Walgreens Health business segment (now known as U.S. Healthcare), enabled by investments in VillageMD, CareCentrix and Shields Health Solutions (Shields), accelerating the company’s capabilities in primary care, post-acute care and home care.


In February, WBA announced the completion of the acquisition of the remaining 30% equity stake in its German pharmaceutical wholesale joint venture with McKesson Corporation. As a result, WBA assumed full ownership of the combined GEHE and Alliance Healthcare businesses in Germany.


In June, Walgreens announced the launch of its clinical trial business to redefine the patient experience and increase access and retention in sponsor-led drug development research.


In November, VillageMD announced that it had entered a definitive agreement to acquire Summit Health-CityMD. With investments from WBA and Evernorth, the combined company created one of the largest independent provider groups in the U.S. It also enhanced WBA’s robust portfolio of leading, integrated healthcare offerings across the care continuum.


In December, Walgreens launched 24-hour same day delivery, offering the most retail items for around the clock delivery across the country.


In December, WBA acquired full ownership of Shields. An industry leader in integrated, health system-owned specialty pharmacy care, Shields is a core asset as part of the WBA U.S. Healthcare segment.


In March, WBA acquired full ownership of CareCentrix, expanding its reach into the growing homecare sector and advancing its healthcare long-term growth strategy.