Leading retailers are preparing for a showdown with shareholders this week as director pay becomes the focus of investor anger.

Clashes are expected at the AGMS of Burberry, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s following advice from governance group Pirc that investors should vote against directors’ remuneration packages.

M&S has come under fire for the compensation deal, worth up to £15m and due to be approved at this Wednesday’s AGM, awarded to new chief executive Marc Bolland.

However last week, as the retailer unveiled first quarter figures, chairman Sir Stuart Rose was confident shareholders would allow the arrangement to go ahead.

In the case of Burberry, which holds its AGM on Thursday, Pirc complained that certain performance targets were not challenging.

Pirc is also concerned about Sainsbury’s and said: “We consider combined awards to be excessive for the period under review.” Sainsbury’s holds its AGM on Wednesday.