Boots UK Limited (formerly Boots the Chemists), trading as Boots, is a British health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain in the United Kingdom and other countries and territories including Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands and Thailand.
The parent company, The Boots Company plc, merged with Alliance UniChem in 2006 to form Alliance Boots. In 2007, Alliance Boots was bought by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Stefano Pessina, taking the company private, and moving its headquarters to Switzerland, making it the first-ever FTSE 100 company to be bought by a private equity firm. In 2012, Walgreens bought a 45% stake in Alliance Boots, with the option to buy the rest within three years. It exercised this option in 2014, and as a result Boots became a subsidiary of the new company, Walgreens Boots Alliance, on 31 December 2014.
Boots is one of the largest retailers in the UK and Ireland, both in terms of revenue and the number of shops. It has 2,500 shops across the United Kingdom and Ireland ranging from local pharmacies to large health and beauty shops. Its shops are primarily located on the high streets and in shopping centres. It sells many health and beauty products, and also provides optician and hearing care services within shops and as standalone practices. Boots also operates a retail website and since 1997 it runs a loyalty card programme called the Boots Advantage Card.
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