Fashion wholesaler and retailer Esprit Holdings Ltd is planning to cut the number of new stores it opens this year and is in talks to buy out its China-based retail joint venture, according to local media reports.

Company chairman Heinz Krogner-Kornalik told Reuters the number of new stores planned for the current fiscal year will be trimmed from 60-80 to 50, as consumers continue to rein in their spending.

The Hong Kong-listed company also said it is thinking of buying the remaining 51% stake in its retail joint venture with China Resources Enterprise Ltd, which makes and markets Esprit branded products.

In October, Esprit posted an 8% fall in total revenues for the first quarter, weighed down by its European operations.

The company saw total sales for the period of HKD$9.4bn (US$1.21bn), from $10.2bn in the comparable quarter last year.

Revenues in Europe dropped 8.7% to $8bn, while Asia Pacific fell 3% to $1bn and North America sales decreased 4.2% to $250m.