Rapid expansion of the company
By 1893 Jesse had opened 33 stores, including seven branches in Nottingham, East Anglia, and the West Midlands. At the turn of the century there were 250 stores in the Boots retail chain. Jesse also acquired existing chemists' firms, including William Day's Southern Drug Company, a chain of 60 stores in London and the South of England.
The Pharmacy Act of 1908 confirmed the legal right of large companies and stores such as Boots to offer dispensing services. In 1911 the Health Insurance Act extended medical benefits to ordinary working people, dramatically increasing the number of prescriptions dispensed. In 1913 sales in the 560 Boots stores across England, Wales and Scotland amounted to over £2.5 million a year.
The business was developing in other ways too. Florence Boot founded a subscription library, the Boots Booklovers Library, inspired by her interest in literature and the arts. She opened elegant café's in the larger stores to attract the more affluent middle classes to shop at Boots, encouraging them to build up a loyalty to the company.