Tesco shareholders are putting pressure on the grocer to pull out of its US venture Fresh & Easy to concentrate on the UK.

Investors including Legal & General have suggested that chief executive Philip Clarke should focus on the retailer’s core UK grocery business and pull out of the US and its banking operations, the Daily Mail reports.

The reports come as Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King criticised Tesco’s customer service. King told The Telegraph: “They have not executed well for customers. It was true of us in the 1990s.

“We’ve been able to see for a long while that what we deliver in service to our shops is significantly better than Tesco.”

Last month, Sainsbury’s chief operating officer Mike Coupe told The Cloud Retail Week Conference that Tesco was an “unhappy ship” on the day of UK chief executive Richard Brasher’s departure.

Clarke is due to outline his strategy for a major overhaul of its UK business at its annual results on April 18.

Fresh & Easy is forecast to break even next year and reportedly had a strong January performance.  

Innovations at 200 trial stores including pound shop areas, health and beauty counters and dedicated fresh produce teams are set to be rolled out to 2,800 stores.

The grocer is also expected to put a much stronger focus on clothing and will relaunch its Cherokee clothing brand.

Clarke is expected to unveil plans for promotions during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the European football championships as well as a long-term strategy to lower prices rather than focussing on one-off discounts.

Tesco is understood to have relied heavily on Dunnhumby – the firm which handles its customer data – to inform changes to stores.