Marks & Spencer, the UK retailer, has revamped the way it runs its stores in a bid to streamline the business.

The company has decided to move away from a geographical structure of five regional directors to having two executives overseeing food and general merchandise stores.

Neil Hyslop, previously divisional director for Scotland and the North, will manage the company's Simply Food stores. Former head of retail operations Steve Finlan will take charge of all other stores.

Both men will report into M&S retail director Steve Rowe, who was appointed in March.

"It's a move to streamline the organisation and make sure the right structures are in place to fit the needs of the business both now and in the future," an M&S spokesperson told just-food today (30 May).

The changes are the latest streamlining moves from a company that is putting increasing focus on its cost base and internal management.

Last week, M&S said cost control and driving efficiencies would become a priority despite seeing a rise in annual profits.

Chief executive Sir Stuart Rose said M&S was "cautious" about its prospects over the next 12 months after like-for-like sales in the UK fell 1.7% over the last quarter - the second successive quarter in which sales had fallen.