The big German Otto Group, which deals in retailing, shopping centers and other activities, reports that its Otto.de web shop increased total sales by 8 percent to over €3 billion in its financial year to Feb. 28. Otto claims to be the world's largest distance retailer overall and the biggest online retailer after Amazon. The web shop recorded total sales of €3.2 billion in its 2018/19 financial year, with the number of active customers growing by five percent to seven million. Of the web shop's total customers, two million placed their first orders ever in the past financial year and about the half used a smartphone or tablet for the first time. For the 2019/20 financial year, the Otto Group expects another increase in sales for its Otto.de web shop and aims to invest a further €100 million in technology and new jobs. The online retailer wants to create about 400-500 new jobs on average this year. About 4,900 people currently work for Otto.de, 3,000 of them at the company's headquarters in Hamburg. The Otto Group also owns SportScheck, the big German chain of sporting goods stores. Since mid-2017, Otto.de has been working to open its platform to new partners and brands. It has recently added 400 new suppliers to the platform and plans to have up to 3,000 new partners by 2020. Over its last financial year, the group's global online sales – conducted through Otto.de and more than 50 other internet platforms – increased by 5.1 percent to €7.7 billion. In Germany, total online sales of the Otto Group increased by 5.9 percent to a total of €5.4 billion.