UK retailer Marks and Spencer has let its managing director of China go as part of a recently announced cost-cutting exercise.

Richard Sweet, who was in charge of M&S's flagship store in Shanghai, is one of the 450 office workers the company said it was making redundant earlier in the month.

Management of the 40,000 square foot Shanghai store, which was launched in October, will now be combined with ten stores M&S already operates in Hong Kong.

A spokesperson for M&S told just-food that Sweet's departure had nothing to do with reports its Chinese store had encountered problems with the availability of certain food products.

He said: "There have been a few teething problems with the supply of food but these are nearly resolved and the Shanghai store is performing well."

On 7 January, M&S said it was to close 27 stores and axe over 1,200 jobs in total as it seeks to cut costs after UK like-for-like sales fell 7.1% over the Christmas trading period.