Ref NoWBA/BT/16/7
TitlePhotographic
DescriptionCollection of papers relating to the photographic category activity within the business. Contains advertisements, sales records, product literature, internal communications, photograph wallets and accounting information.
The catalogue is in the process of being updated and additional entries for this function are anticipated.
LevelSubFunction
Administrative HistoryBoots entered the photographic market with the launch of Boots Fine Art Photographic View Books in 1897. These souvenir booklets, were photographed and published by Boots, featured photographs of towns and districts such as Chester, Jersey, Nottingham, Lincoln, and Cambridge.
Boots first started selling photographic materials in 1901, when it acquired a large chain of chemists stores in London and the South (Day's Drug Co). These stores already had a stock of photographic materials and Jesse Boot, true to his 'waste not, want not' attitude, continued to sell it when they were converted to Boots stores. Gradually, due to their success, photographic departments were set up in other Boots stores. A central photographic department was also established to co-ordinate activity and publish price lists and catalogues. In 1905 Boots introduced its first own brand photographic products, under the brand name 20th Century - including plates and mounting equipment. By 1923, Boots was offering over 600 photographic products and between 1919-31, there was an 800% increase in Developing and Printing services.
During the 1940s and 1950s, Boots expanded their photographic services, offering camera repairs, 'special' orders and a Staff Trainer to advise staff on photo problems, as well as introducing their own brand of camera in the latter decade.

In 1984 the first Minilab in a Boots store opened for business in Birmingham. Disc format and 35mm Compact cameras were introduced. The following year, an overnight service was introduced. APS cameras and film processing became available in 1996, then in 2000 bootsphoto.com laumched. Customers could have their photos uploaded onto their own photo album on the Internet and collect reprints or enlargements from any of Boots 1400 stores. This service was later discontinued in 2001, but in 2004 the Kodak Instant Kiosk was rolled out and in 2006 Boots installed the Boots Digital Photo Kiosk in to 345 stores, making it the most successful Boots brand launch of the year.

In 2008 bootsphoto.com was relaunched in as a partnership with Photobox, Europe's leading online photo provider.
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