Strategy and Structure at Boots the Chemists
Chandler’s Strategy and Structure centres on an intensive study of four United States multi-divisional companies that rapidly outpaced their competitors and established their pre-eminence in the period from the 1880s to the end of the First World War. Each was built by a super-salesman whose sense of market opportunity, combined with personality, stamina, and drive, created a huge new vertically integrated enterprise. The careers of these empire builders found a striking parallel, both as to chronology and entrepreneurial profile, in that of Jesse Boot (1849–1931), the creator of Boots the Chemists. From the inheritance of a small down-town herbalist’s shop in Nottingham, Boot outpaced his competitors to build the biggest and most successful chain of company chemists’ shops in Britain, supporting his principal interest in retailing with manufacturing, wholesaling and printing departments. The present-day Boots company, still based in Nottingham, can fairly be described as a multi-divisional corporation, but its pattern of development is so distinctly different from that of Chandler’s four giants that it deserves separate consideration as a case-study. The exercise is also worthwhile because of Chandler’s frank recognition that the massmechandising enterprises as a group warrant closer attention than he was able to devote to them.
KeywordsBusy Period Selling Organisation Personal Authority Retail Distribution Successful Chain
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