The wine and spirits group, Allied Domecq, has announced major changes to its US structure in a bid to allocate resources closer to the marketplace, increase sales coverage and best capitalise on its recent acquisitions, Stolichnaya and Malibu.

The "Move to Market" strategy, scheduled to be in operation by January, will see the company's Equity and ADvantage portfolios combined under one management team. At the same time, the company will create three decentralised, autonomous Spirits Business Units - North, South and Control States.

The third element in the restructure will allow for the allocation of more of the company's resources closer to the market and an increase in sales coverage. At company and Business Unit headquarters, management structures will be streamlined and simplified.

"We are going to move resources from headquarters out to the field. Our overall headcount will actually increase, but we will be leaner and meaner at HQ and have broader and deeper management coverage in the field," said Allied Domecq's US president, Tom Wilen. "Allied Domecq will further strengthen its relationship with distributors, brokers and customers. Our new structure, combined with improved planning and greater understanding of customers and consumers, will continue to improve our performance."