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Boots Looks Back to Parent Walgreens for Support as Sale Pulled

  • UK drugstore chain faces challenges amid cost-of-living crisis
  • Walgreens says it will continue investing in the Boots chain
British Retail Sales Bounce Masks a More Somber Outlook
Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
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The imploded sale of Boots is just the latest chapter in the UK drugstore chain’s long battle to compete on main streets up and down the country, but it may be the most challenging one yet.

The 173-year-old retailer will stay under the ownership of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., at least for now, after the US health-care group decided to abandon the sale Tuesday. Faced with the worst cost-of-living crisis in Britain in decades and an ambivalent parent company whose main focus is the core North American business, Boots and its Chief Executive Officer Sebastian James are going to have to fight hard to vie for customers.