German mail-order giant Otto Group - the world’s largest online retailer for fashion and lifestyle products - could lose as many as 700 jobs under new plans to restructure the company.

The retailer is looking to centralise the accounting, control and human resources functions of the Otto, Baur and Schwab brands. It said that up to 450 jobs could be cut from the Otto Group, 210 from the Baur offices in Burgkunstadt and 40 from Schwab's Hanau offices.

Under the strategy, called Project Fokus, the company plans grow the EUR2.5bn turnover Otto brand, placing a "clear emphasis once again on current fashions for the modern woman". It will invest in improving its assortments and developing its online offer.

Alexander Birken, the Group executive board member leading the Fokus initiative, said the company will invest hundreds of millions in developing its e-commerce offer over the next three years.

Commenting on the moves, Hans-Otto Schrader, group chairman and CEO said: "Over the past few weeks, the team has...defined the right steps and measures as part of Fokus to position our company even more strongly in the market.

"Besides the massive investments in market performance, Otto, Baur and Schwab are also making structural adjustments to establish efficient and market-focused processes."

As well as being the world’s largest online retailer for fashion and lifestyle products, the Otto Group is also the world's second largest web retailer after Amazon. It has more than 53,000 employees and operates in 20 countries in Europe, North America and Asia.

Revenues in the year to 29 February rose 1.7% to EUR11.6bn, but operating profit (EBITDA) fell 19% to EUR539m - which the company blamed on a number of factors including rising raw material costs, weak earnings in France and high investments.