Marks & Spencer is pressing on with plans to expand the number of branded products on its shelves beyond the northeast area, according to suppliers.

M&S last year began stocking around 350 household brands, ranging from Heinz and Persil to Coca-Cola and Colgate, in 19 stores in the Tyneside area – breaking with almost 125 years of own-label tradition.

The high street giant has now indicated that from next month it will be extending the trial to stores in north London and Hertfordshire – including in Tesco home town Cheshunt, the Financial Times reports.

The news comes after M&S last year axed former Waitrose executive Steve Esom as head of food, installing John Dixon as department chief.

Dixon has presided over moves including the introduction of the chain’s popular ‘Dine in for £10’ promotion, while chief executive Sir Stuart Rose last year overhauled the structure of the food division in a bid to resolve “operational issues”.