Books retailer Waterstones has restructured as it head of books Rik McShane is promoted to the newly created role of retail director.

McShane will take responsibility for field operations, central operations and the commercial department.

The retailer said the move would “fully align” these business areas.

Waterstones is also making changes to its field operation with the divisional and regional manager structure replaced with the “cluster model”, requiring a smaller number of regional managers.

The estate will now be split into eleven areas, each run by a retail manager. Each area will be divided into clusters with a cluster leader looking after five or six shops, and reporting to the retail manager.

It is thought this ties in with the Waterstones aim of repositioning itself as a local specialist.

As a result seven regional managers have left the business.

A Waterstones spokesman said: “The retail manager’s role is to direct the retail strategy of their shops through the cluster leaders, and to liaise closely with the central commercial and operational teams to shape and communicate initiatives and standards.

“The cluster leaders will work with their shop managers to promote best practice and drive operational efficiency, with an emphasis on pooling resources and knowledge and making the use of the expertise of booksellers to the greatest collective benefit.”