French mail order firm 3 Suisses is planning to shed almost half its workforce as a result of transforming itself into a 'pure play' online retailer for fashion and homeware goods.

Around 166 workers will be made redundant, while 32 will be offered early retirement.

In addition, around 45 staff will quit 3 Suisses as part of the company's plans to sell-off some of its activities.

Last month, 3 Suisses, a subsidiary of the 3SI group, announced it was dropping its bi-annual printed catalogue from the forthcoming autumn-winter season.

"We are aiming for a return to break-even in 2016," said 3 Suisses' CEO, Eric Dubois, revealing the company had made an acculmulated loss of EUR300m (US$416.8m) over the past five years, including EUR63m in 2013.