Claire’s Accessories has appointed a managing director for its UK and Ireland region as it formulates a new structure for its European division.

Former Stead & Simpson retail director and Primark head of retail operations David Rostron joined the accessories retailer this week to head up the arm of the European division known as region one.

The European division of Claire’s Accessories has been split into three regions under the leadership of managing director of European operations Mark Smith.

Smith joined the retailer again last summer, after resigning as chief executive of the UK division in 2002. He is charged with ramping up European expansion plans and focusing on acquisitions to fuel growth.

It is understood that Region Two will cover France, Spain and Belgium, and Region Three Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. The retailer is poised to announce managing director appointments at the remaining two regions imminently.

Retail Knowledge Bank senior partner Robert Clark said the move would enable the retailer to take its expansion to the next level.

He said: “Claire’s Accessories has reached a level of maturity in the market. It needs this new impetus to take it to the next step.”

Claire’s trades in 10 European countries and has 3,300 stores worldwide.

Sales were£158.8 million in the 53 weeks to February 3, 2007, up from£153.4 the year before. Pre-tax profits at the UK division rose from£125,000 in 2006 to£4.9 million.