Pharmacy & Healthcare

The rest is history

Take a look back at some moments in pandemic history from the Boots historical archive of photographs and documents.

By Hannah Robinson and Tom Wall

Boots storefronts

When you’ve been around for more than 170 years, you’ve probably seen it all. Boots certainly has.

The world became a completely different place between the time John Boot first opened a herbal medicine shop in Nottingham in 1849 and the creation of Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2015. But one thing has remained the same: The colleagues at every Boots store are committed to looking after the health and well-being of their local communities.

Throughout its history, Boots has helped customers and patients in the UK navigate the unsteady waters of global pandemics – from the 1918 Spanish flu all the way to COVID-19. Through it all, Boots helped support the safety of the nation and has partnered with the NHS since its inception in 1948.

We took a look back through the archives at a few key moments in Boots history, when the UK and the world faced pandemics.