Ref NoWBA/AH/AUC/EM
TitleE Moss Ltd
DescriptionThis collection comprises of the buisness records of E Moss Ltd., retail chemists
Date1915-1990
LevelSubSubFonds
Extent154 items
Administrative HistoryEdgar Moss was born in Staffordshire in 1879 and graduated as a Pharmacist aged 23. Having held a number of managerial roles in various businesses he decided to pursue a business venture of his own. In 1915, Edgar Moss purchased his first store at 48 High Street Feltham, Middlesex.

A second store was opened in 1921 in Hayes. In the following two years the business expanded further opening stores in Hanworth and Shepperton. The company began to expand their product range and in 1926 Edgar Moss obtained licences to sell ‘Medicinal Wine’ at his branches at Feltham and Shepperton. By the mid 1930s Moss had ten MOSS Chemist branches situated at Ashford, Camberly, Feltham (2), Hanworth (2), Hayes, Shepperton, Southall and Staines. In the business was registered as a private limited company, and in 1934 it became ‘E. Moss Ltd’ with the following board members:
- Edgar Moss, M.P.S. – (Chairman and Governing Director)
- Harold G. Moss, M.P.S. – (Managing Director)
- Kenneth W. Richardson, M.P.S.
- John R. James
Within two years of its registration, the company relocated to Fern Grove in Feltham. Edgar had acquired a plot of land which he expanded with a further 100ft adjoining land purchased from a local timber merchant. This location became the head office of E. Moss Ltd and a central warehouse.

The late 1930s saw a period of growth within the buisness with the opening of five new stores, all of which were located on newly built shopping parades.
In the 1954, in order to take advantage of the increasing popularity of photography, E. Moss Ltd opened its first photographic shop in Staines.
With the death of Edgar Moss in 1958, his son Harold Moss became chairman.
By the time the company celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1965 they were operating 36 modern pharmacies, and 3 specialist photographic shops. In 1969 the company set up an industrial sales division to supply medical and surgical items to local factories. Within a few years the company was supplying national companies such as Debenhams and Marks and Spencer. They also secured an exclusive account with British Airways to carry a Moss first aid kit on each of their aircraft. It was also around this time that the company opened its first concession, a toiletry and cosmetic section within a local department store.
In 1974 Harold Moss retired from the business. In 1991 UniChem Plc acquired Moss Chemists. The company began a period of rapid expansion and acquired an average of 65 stores per year. In 1997 UniChem Plc merged with Alliance Sante to become Alliance UniChem making it one of the largest pharmaceutical distributors in Europe. The company continued to expand and opened their 500th store in Battle, Hastings that year. Moss Chemists was re-branded Moss Pharmacy in 1999 and a year later relocated its head office to Fern House, Feltham. In 2005 878 Moss Pharmacies were re-branded to Alliance Pharmacy stores. A year later Alliance Unichem and Boots merged to form Alliance Boots PLC, an international pharmacy-led health and beauty group, following which Moss stores were re-branded to Boots.
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