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Top 20 HR tools for 2021

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The global HR software industry is expected to be worth over $30billion by 2025. Two years later, in 2027, this is set to have risen to $38billion.

HR software enables businesses of all sizes to manage people and processes throughout the entire organization. Whether youre a team of five or 500, HR software allows you to automate essential HR tasks so you can invest your time elsewhere.

Theres a wide variety of tools and software available, so weve categorized them with a brief description so you can find the solution thats right for you. Read on for more on the 20 best HR software tools in 2021.

What is HR management software?

HR management software is any product or service that facilitates the people, culture-related processes, and tasks carried out by the HR department. These include but are by no means limited to:

  • Recruitment and hiring
  • Training and development
  • Personnel management and company culture
  • Management of employee benefits

HR software is designed to make life simpler for your HR team by providing a platform on which to organize and manage HR-related tasks and activities.

Its by no means mandatory, but 80% of SMBs in the US already use or are planning on implementing HR software in the next two years. Its not without good reason, either.

HR software provides a wide array of benefits not only to HR managers, but the entire HR team.

HR management software saves time

HR software makes once-arduous tasks super simple by streamlining and automating processes. Intuitive interfaces and helpful tooltips make adopting the software easy for both you and your team.

Using HR tools limits clutter

No more sifting through years of paperwork and spreadsheets to find what youre looking for. HR software categorizes and stores all your datasuch as employee informationin an intuitive and accessible way. Whatever you need is never more than a few clicks away.

Great HR software secures confidential documents

HR software allows you to organize and manage important documents online, without having to sift through locked drawers and filing cabinets.

Its time to say goodbye to padlocked drawers and hello to password-protected folders.

Your software helps manage personnel

Keeping an eye on your teams progress and wellbeing is an integral part of HR management, and theres ample software plans out there to help HR managers and teams of any size.

HR software manages essential personnel-related tasks, such as:

  • Shifts
  • Payroll
  • Leave and sickness
  • Paid time off (PTO)
  • Onboarding and offboarding

Recruit new team members

HR software doesnt just cover your existing workforce, it can help you recruit high-quality talent from any industry. Streamline your recruitment workflow, interviewing process, and employee onboarding in one place to ensure youre always up-to-date with whats happening with your team.

HR software does all this and more, often with an all-in-one platform. Your ideal solution exists, you just have to find itheres what to look out for when making your decision.

Features to look for in HR management software

There are many software solutions with a variety of key features available to help HR managers and teams hit their business goals. Weve compiled a list of factors to consider when choosing your perfect fit human resources software.

Remember, every HR solution is unique, but we advise you to consider these general aspects when making your decision. Regardless of your chosen software, ticking these boxes will make life easier.

Training & support

Ensure that your chosen HR software offers enough adoption training and support to allow you to use it to its full potential. Powerful tools are only valuable when you know how to use them.

Research the tool and the support offered, and make sure to read reviews from other teams in a similar position to yours.

Flexibility

HR software needs to be agile in order to meet your evolving needs. Ask what it is youre looking for and whether your chosen platform can meet those needs. Consider how your needs may change in the future, your people growth plans, and what solution is best suited to accommodate that.

You also want to look out for integration capabilities to enable you to pull data and insights from other tools and platforms youre already using. This saves a lot of time and limits errors to make for a smoother workflow.

Many core HR solutions are customizable from the offset or provide add-ons to ensure it follows and supports your growth. Some also offer this support via a mobile app to ensure youve got complete and flexible control at all times.

Check plans and pricing to see what platform is suitable for your needs right now and moving forward.

Reporting capabilities

HR software offers deeper insights into your organization and personnelmake sure those insights are in-depth, actionable, and shareable. Look into the softwares analysis features and reporting templates to understand how they enable you to effectively report on internal KPIs.

A human resources information system (HRIS) should provide you with exactly thathuman resource information. It enables you to use that information to make better, more informed business decisions.

Weve looked high and low for the best HR software tools around, and compiled a list of 20 HR tools to send you in the right direction. Whether its payroll processing and absence management or employee engagement and satisfaction, theres a tool thats right for you.

First up, tools specializing in recruitment and hiring.

Recruitment and hiring

Recruitment and hiring software facilitate the hiring process faced by HR professionals worldwide. It puts all the important applicant tracking data right where you need it and allows you to seamlessly manage the recruitment and hiring process. This improves the experience for both you and your applicants.

1. Codility

Codility is a HR tool designed for those recruiting in the software development industry. The platform makes hiring developers fast and efficient and allows you to engage and evaluate candidates with skills-based programming tests.

This tool enables you to test the skills that matter to you, and helps build high-performing, diverse tech teams to power your growth.

2. Goodtime.io

Goodtime is an interview scheduling platform that empowers organizations to find the right candidate. Automate your interview scheduling process so your team can focus on hiring the ideal candidate, not juggling timezones.

The platform also offers solutions for diversifying your interviewer panel, to minimize unconscious bias and reduce the barriers to entry for underrepresented groups.

3. Workable

Workable is recruitment software for every step of the hiring process. From sourcing the right candidate with one-click job posting to 200+ websites using their applicant tracking system, all the way to reporting and improving on your hiring processWorkable keeps your finger on the pulse at every stage.

4. iCIMS

iCIMS is another tool that enables HR managers to track and manage the entire talent acquisition lifecycle. Attract, engage, hire, and advance your talent with this all-in-one solution.

The platform also offers solutions to help you meet your hiring goals, such a DE&I hiring and university recruitment.

5. AmazingHiring

AmazingHiring is an all-in-one tech sourcing automation platform that claims to find 40% more candidates from 50+ open sources and job boards online. Its AI-backed sourcing tool helps you find relevant candidates for your role and speeds up the hiring process to allow you to do more with your time.

Personnel and performance management

Another essential area of human resources is personnel and performance management. Weve covered tools to help find and hire your talent, but these tools enable you to manage and organize your employees at work. Whether youre looking for performance reviews or payroll software, these solutions can meet your business needs.

6. SesameHR

Sesame is an employee management tool that equips teams with a fresh take on employee time tracking. Its three methods of checking in and biometric system integration capabilities enables you to give employees greater freedom.

The software also offers task planning and shift planning capabilities, to give you a more comprehensive overview of your employees time management and the profitability of your projects. Alongside these functionalities, the platform also offers other HR solutionssuch as hiring and onboarding solutions.

7. Sapling

Sapling is a people operations platform that manages everything from onboarding to offboarding. It integrates with other tools to provide a complete view of your personnel and their employee records within your organization.

The platform offers solutions designed specifically for remote teams, startups, and high-growth companies so you can unify your global data in a single HR system no matter what.

8. Zoho (people)

Zohos HR solution, Zoho People, offers organizations an all-in-one employee management solution that empowers employees to control their profiles with a self-service portal.

From onboarding new employees and tracking attendance, to performance management and employee profilesthe platform is a comprehensive solution that both HR managers and employees find user-friendly.

9. BambooHR

BambooHR is a personnel solution that focuses on gathering, storing, and analyzing people data. The software organizes all the information you gather throughout the employee lifecycle to help you improve HR processes.

Its compensation management tool allows you to manage the payroll system, paid time off, and time tracking to ensure a great experience for both you and your employees.

10. TravelPerk

Now, TravelPerk is a corporate travel management platformits not HR specific, but its very useful for many HR-related tasks. TravelPerks main offering revolves around streamlining the business travel process, but its many integrations make it an adequate tool for managing business expenses related to corporate travel.

Sending employees around the world on business can be stressful and costly, but TravelPerks corporate travel solution addresses and minimizes these problems. It gives you peace of mind to know that employees are safe on their travels, thanks to TravelPerks travel safety solutionslike TravelCare.

Training and development

Training and development are an essential part of an employee’s time with your organization. Training is essential for getting people up and running within your company, and development opportunities are key for getting them to stay.

11. Coursera

Coursera is an online learning platform that connects individuals with courses, certificates, and degrees from universities and companies worldwide.

Coursera aims to provide individuals with courses to enrich them both personally and professionally87% of people report having experienced career benefits as a result of their training.

12. Rise

Rise is an online training system that enables organizations track and manage employee learning. Their courses are easy to create, enjoyable to take, and simple to manage. If youre not looking to create your own courses, the platform also provides a wide repertoire of pre-made courses.

Analytical capabilities allow you to monitor progress and ensure that employees are continually learning. Plus, its also cloud-based, so enrollment couldnt be easier.

13. Lessonly

Lessonly is training, enablement, and coaching software that helps teams keep their training in-house. Its designed to help teams learn better and faster so they can swiftly settle into new roles and responsibilities.

14. TalentLMS

TalentLMS is a learning management software designed to help companies grow faster. Their simple interface makes adoptions quick and easy, and their training ranges from onboarding new hires to sales, compliance and more.

15. Auzmor

Auzmor is an employee training platform that helps employees learn and grow in their roles. You can both create your own courses and choose from a library of pre-made courses.

Real-time results and instant insights allow you to build better courses and dive deeper when necessary. Youre able to invite other team members to work together and edit learning settings based on customized analytics.

Employee engagement and company culture

Another important part of HR management is employee engagement and company culture. Employee engagement is hugely important for your organization, as unengaged employees cost organizations about $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary.

Here are some tools to help avoid this and create a dazzling company culture your employees cant help but rave about.

16. Culture Amp

Culture Amp is an employee engagement platform that empowers you to establish and build your company culture. Its many HR features enable you to get feedback from employees, prioritize your focus areas, and create insightful reports from employee data.

The platform also uses insights from their performance and engagement tool to predict employee turnover, so you can focus on keeping your top talent.

17. Workbuzz

Workbuzz is employee engagement software that focuses on giving employees a voice, even through organizational change. The software provides solutions for remote and hybrid teams that focus on employee wellbeing and employee retention.

Workbuzzs solution also uses data from all employees to determine their feelings around diversity, and helps you identify any barriers to career progression, equality, and inclusion.

18. 15Five

15Five is an employee engagement tool that provides solutions for employees and managers alike. The performance and engagement features keep an eye on your employees throughout the workforce and build insights. These insights are then used to provide in-depth feedback for HR stakeholders and prioritize actions.

The solution also offers an upskilling tool designed to transform managers into leaders who know how to drive employee performance and engagement simultaneously.

19. Espresa

Espresa is a culture benefits management platform that empowers you to deliver an immersive employee experience and create a workplace powered by total wellbeing, community, and recognition.

The benefits administration platform offers organizations the ability to give rewards and recognition, create challenges and achievements, and a wellbeing and fitness platform for increased support.

It also provides employees with employee resource groups, where they can communicate and connect with others in both formal and informal settings via the platform’s employee portal.

20. Assembly

Assembly is an employee recognition and rewards platform that allows employees to recognize each other and be rewarded for their positive actions. Rewards are configurable, or you’re able to pick from Assemblys catalog of previously successful gifting initiatives.

The insights tool provides a deeper understanding of how your organization works and reveals data on unexpected collaboration between departments to improve your workforce management.

The best HR software for your business

Choosing the right software for you depends on your unique business needs and goals, and determining which is right for you can be difficult. Weve put together our top HR software picks based on company sizeincluding some from our top 20 plus some new additions. Take a look.

Whats the best HR software for small businesses?

The best HR software for small businesses are:

  • Zoho People
  • BambooHR
  • Sesame
  • Goodtime.io
  • Coursera

Whats the best HR software for medium businesses?

The best HR software for medium businesses are:

  • 15Five
  • Rise
  • Sapling
  • Culture Amp
  • Workable

Wrapping Up

Thats it from us on the best HR software solutions out there, we hope youre a couple of steps closer to finding which are right for you. Some cover all bases whereas others specialize in one areacompare and consider each software and what it can offer your organization.

Your people are your competitive advantage, so people management and retention is key. A human resource management system enables you to do this more successfully and efficiently than ever before.

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Maria Raga on Why Community Is Central to Depops Success

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In June 2021, online marketplace Etsy announced plans to acquire Depop for $1.6 billion. The move was yet another sign of growing interest in the burgeoning fashion resale market, which according to BoF Insights, is now worth $130 billion globally.

Chief executive Maria Raga describes Depop as combining elements from Instagram and eBay. The platform is skewed towards lower-priced product exchange between younger traders, almost all of them 26 and under. Raga believes that its Depops community aspect facilitating not just online transactions, but also person to person interactions that attracts these all-important Gen-Z shoppers.

Ragas insights are featured in the fifth episode of The BoF Show, now streaming on Bloomberg Quicktake.

Here, we share the full interview, exclusively on The BoF Podcast.

Watch the fifth episode of The BoF Show, Resale: Inside the $130 Billion Secondhand Fashion Market

Explore the new report from BoF Insights, The Future of Fashion Resale here.

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Virtual Fashion Is Big News. Can It Be Big Business?

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On Monday, Londons fashion set will descend on the grand Royal Albert Hall for this years Fashion Awards, a linchpin of the citys fashion calendar returning as an in-person event for the first time since the pandemic.

This year, those who didnt get an invite can attend in the virtual world.

Its the latest sign of fashions rapid embrace of cyberspace. At the ceremony, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele is set to receive the Trailblazer Award, in part for Guccis forays in the digital realm.

Last week, Nike launched Nikeland, its vision for a virtual world on gaming platform Roblox, where users can speed around a track, play tag on trampolines and of course pick up some digital Nike products. Its following labels like Gucci and Vans in creating brand-centric immersive experiences on the platform.

The global games market exploded over the pandemic and is expected to be worth $180.3 billion this year, according to Newzoo, a market research firm focused on the gaming industry. While supply chain disruptions and a global chip shortage are constraining near-term growth, Newzoo sees the value of the gaming industry topping $200 billion by 2023.

I actually think the most rapid growth period in the video game industry is in front of us, not behind us, said David Reitman, the global gaming lead at Accenture. (The strategy and technology services firm estimates the gaming industry is already worth $200 billion and growing.)

Brands are laying the groundwork to tap into the trend now. In the past few months alone, in addition to the tie-ups with Roblox, Balenciaga collaborated with online mega-game Fortnite and Burberry partnered with NFT-based game Blankos Block Party. There are more tie-ups to come.

But can gaming move from being the next big thing to being big business?

Some financial analysts are certainly projecting a windfall. Morgan Stanley estimates luxury companies could generate nearly $24 billion in combined sales from revenue-sharing deals with social games like Roblox and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs (unique virtual assets logged on a digital ledger known as a blockchain). In their most optimistic case, Morgan Stanleys analysts believe such sales could surpass $50 billion.

They also noted these initiatives could help brands expand their total addressable markets and provide an uplift to their earnings.

Some brands have already scored windfalls from experimenting in the virtual realm. Dolce & Gabbana cashed in this October when it auctioned a collection of NFTs that brought in $6.1 million. Brands such as Rebecca Minkoff have had more modest sales.

Even so, NFT values are volatile, and there remain a number of constraints on how much brands can leverage virtual goods in games.

Right now, if you purchase a virtual jacket for your avatar in a game, you generally cant take it with you into another game, making it more like renting the jacket than truly owning it.

In theory, NFTs could solve part of the problem by making it possible to track ownership of a digital item across platforms. But the concept still faces some practical obstacles. For one, games have their own visual styles, so there needs to be a technical solution that allows an item to render correctly wherever it appears. Game makers would also need to cooperate to enable this level of interoperability.

If the role digital items will play in boosting big brands sales numbers remains uncertain, the potential for gaming to become a key piece of their marketing strategies is much closer on the horizon. Reitman predicts in the near future any brand looking to target younger shoppers with a product launch will make sure gaming is factored into the campaign.

Longer term, BoF Insights digital fashion report found digital assets will be integral to future-proofing businesses as consumers spend a growing amount of time online.

But one question still to be answered is how fashion brands will measure the return on their investments in gaming.

Our channel checks suggest that a number of these gaming and fashion collaborations to date have been done on a break-even basis i.e., the fashion brand pays to cover the costs of design and integration in the game, the Morgan Stanley analysts wrote. There is a mutual halo effect benefit to both parties but revenue generation has so far been a secondary consideration to simply proof-of-concept.

Stay tuned for BoFs latest case study, How to Seize Fashions Gaming Opportunity, which launches on Monday on www.businessoffashion.com.

Digital Fashion & Avatars Decoded

THE NEWS IN BRIEF

FASHION, BUSINESS AND THE ECONOMY

Walmart, Gap and Nordstrom earnings reflect supply chain woes. Getty Images.

Walmart, Gap and Nordstrom earnings reflect supply chain woes. Heading into the holiday season, chains from Gap Inc. to Nordstrom say they cant capitalise on heightened demand as supply chain disruptions translate into empty shelves and disappointed customers. Meanwhile, big-box retailers like Walmart and Target have secured inventory, but are under pressure from higher costs.

American Eagle Outfitters sales impress. The clothing, lifestyle and accessories retailer said its inventory levels jumped ahead of the holiday season as it spent more on air freight to overcome supply chain disruptions, after posting better-than-expected quarterly results.

Heading into Christmas, Mulberry sales rise to pre-pandemic levels. The luxury British brand said demand for its luxury products is back at pre-pandemic levels, with sales in the UK and Asia powering a 34 percent surge in first-half revenue.

Roland Mouret files for administration, shuts down Carlos Place store. The London-based couturier is the latest pandemic casualty in the high-end occasion-wear market. The labels collapse follows that of Ralph and Russo, which announced it was entering administration in May.

US online spending surge indicates early holiday season consumer activity. Online consumer spending jumped 20 percent to a total of $72.2 billion this month through Tuesday in a sign that holiday shopping has started early, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.

ABG delays IPO plans following private equity investment. CVC Capital Partners and HPS Investment Partners agreed to purchase significant equity stakes in Authentic Brands Group Inc., giving the company an enterprise value of $12.7 billion. ABG owns brands including Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers and announced a deal to acquire Reebok from Adidas for $2.4 billion in August.

Lanvin Group formerly Fosun Fashion Group unveils its new brand identity. The group joins a cohort of other luxury players, including Burberry and Balmain, that have embraced sans-serif capital letters in recent years. A spokesperson told BoF there was no immediate plan for a change in the Lanvin brand logo.

Marks & Spencer takes a 25 percent stake in womenswear brand Nobodys Child. The British retailers investment comes as it seeks to accelerate a revival in its clothing arm.

THE BUSINESS OF BEAUTY

$1 Billion IPO in the pipeline for Korean beauty retailer Olive Young. Courtesy.

Korean beauty retailer Olive Young is eyeing a $1 Billion IPO. The health and beauty chain, also known as CJ Olive Young, is looking to raise $1 billion in a local public offering that sources told Retail News Asia will take place early 2022. The news comes amid a surge in Korean IPOs, which have raised $21.4 billion this year.

Recently listed Revolution Beauty eyes US expansion. The UK makeup company is ramping up its US expansion with plans to launch in 2,800 retail stores in the next three months.

PEOPLE

Alessandro Michele, Ib Kamara to be honoured at 2021 Fashion Awards.

Alessandro Michele, Ib Kamara to be honoured at 2021 Fashion Awards. Guccis creative director will receive the Trailblazer Award at the event on Monday for his work positioning Gucci at the intersection of culture, art, music and film, the British Fashion Council said. Meanwhile, Dazed editor in chief Kamara will receive the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator for his incredible contribution to the fashion industry, BFC chief executive Caroline Rush said.

Este Lauder reshuffles China, North America leads. The beauty giant said its president of Asia-Pacific Mark Loomis will become president of North America effective February 2022. Meanwhile, Joy Fan, who previously served as the head of its China affiliate, has been named president and chief executive of the companys China business. Fan will report to group international president Peter Jueptner and oversee the companys long-term growth strategy in the crucial Chinese market.

Neiman Marcus Group boosts executive ranks. The American luxury retailer promoted senior vice president Natalie Lockhart to an expanded role leading the department store groups newly created growth execution office. It also expanded the responsibilities of its vice president of people and ESG, Chris Demuth. Elsewhere, it hired corporate communication consultant Tiffin Jernstedt to serve as its chief communications officer. The company said the new appointments would boost its efforts to reflect a more modern growth mindset.

MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY

Softbank invests in influencer marketing platform LTK. Getty Images.

SoftBank invests in influencer marketing platform LTK. The 10-year-old company founded by fashion blogger-turned-entrepreneur Amber Venz Box and her now-husband Baxter Box said it raised $300 million from SoftBank. The investment valued LTK at $2 billion.

Chinese authorities announce new rules for celebrity promotions. The national cyberspace regulator has outlined new guidelines for celebrity-produced and celebrity-related content online, according to state media reports.

Chinas tax authorities punish two top livestreamers. Xueli Cherie and Lin Shanshan Sunny will be punished for tax evasion and fined 66 million yuan ($10.34 million) and 28 million yuan ($4.38 million) respectively.

Compiled by Daniel-Yaw Miller.

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Fearing Empty Shelves, Black Friday Early Birds Head to US Stores

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With many major US retailers opening their doors to shoppers at 5 a.m. on Friday, early risers ventured out, hoping to find gifts to tuck under the Christmas tree before products sell out.

The day after the US Thanksgiving holiday, known as Black Friday, officially kicks off the year-end shopping season. In most past years, retailers have hosted doorbuster discounts of 50 percent-or-more-off everything from clothing and toys to TVs, prompting shoppers to line up for blocks outside stores and crowd into malls to scramble for deals.

But as online shopping has taken off, Black Friday crowds have dwindled, particularly in 2020 when people were still unvaccinated and worried about Covid-19.

Regardless, early queues were expected, with some shoppers worried that an ongoing supply chain logjam might prevent retailers from stocking sought-after items such as Hoverboard scooters, Nerf toys, Oculus Quest 2 headsets, AirPods Pro earbuds, and MacBook Air laptops.

Walmart, Best Buy and Target this year did not require shoppers who have been vaccinated to wear masks, but some indoor malls kept existing mask requirements.

A report by consumer research platform Attest showed about two-thirds of 1,000 people surveyed on Nov. 13 were comfortable shopping in-person despite the ongoing pandemic.

People are looking to get back to normal, said Rod Sides, Deloittes US retail leader. The early online birds, and the birds that went into the store, may get the worm.

A Deloitte survey showed people had already spent 80 percent-85 percent of their budgets before Black Friday. Still, the consultancy said two-fifths of respondents would line up at stores on Black Friday between midnight and 6 a.m.

Nivia Lopez, 26, from Bolingbrook, Illinois, has already scratched perfumes and makeup from Ulta Beauty off her Christmas list, but is venturing out to Victorias Secret, Best Buy and Nordstrom on Black Friday. Lopez, who typically shopped on Thanksgiving before stores increasingly closed on the holiday, took advantage of early online deals.

As stores welcome holiday shoppers, some may be reevaluating their security measures after high-end stores in some US cities were targeted by brazen smash-and-grab robberies, where masked thieves stuff bags full of merchandise.

Online vs Standing in Line

US consumers enter the holiday season flush with spending power thanks to a still-hefty pile of savings from multiple rounds of government pandemic relief, and now double-digit year-over-year wage increases as businesses compete for scarce workers.

Data out Wednesday showed consumer spending grew by a greater-than-expected 1.3 percent in October. Spending on big-ticket items like automobiles lifted the headline figure, but the data also showed broad-based spending increases on services like travel.

Online and brick-and-mortar retailing come together just outside the store. This Black Friday, retailers including Target, Macys and Walmart, allocated more floor space and workers to online pick-up stations and curbside parking.

Walmart, the worlds biggest retailer, hired 150,000 workers for the holidays, many for these jobs. Target added more than 18,000 drive-up parking spaces, more than doubling spots versus last year.

Curbside pickup increased 92 percent in November compared to 2019, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index, which showed 23 percent of online orders on Nov 23 were for curbside pickup.

Hayden Willis and Grace Lafortune, visiting Chicago for Thanksgiving, lined up early on Black Friday before flying home to Seattle, despite doing some holiday shopping earlier in the week.

I feel like there are more options online. I know things are going to be readily available and I can just shop and ship to my family, said Lafortune, 22, who eyed gifts for Willis mother and sisters at Bloomingdales, Anthropologie and Nordstrom Rack.

As of Nov 23, out-of-stocks messages had already risen 8 percent versus the prior week, according to Adobe. Through most of November, out-of-stocks were up 261 percent versus 2019.

There are already reported shortages of toys in a number of big sellers in North America and I think youll see similar shortages in electronics, said Andy Halliwell, senior director of retail at consultancy Publicis Sapient.

Electronics in short supply due to a global chip shortage had the highest out-of-stock levels, followed by personal care, home and garden, housekeeping and baby and toddler products, according to Adobe.

Instead of seeing eight piled-high boxes of TVs, you might see three or four stacks of TVs. You might see fewer bicycles on the racks, NPD analyst Marshal Cohen said.

Higher supply-chain costs have forced many retailers to raise prices and cut back on discounts.

Apparel prices, for instance, were up 8.6 percent through the first 10 months of the year on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares with a 0 percent increase in the first 10 months of 2020 and 4.7 percent in the first 10 months of 2019. Meanwhile, in the 12 months through October, the Consumer Price Index accelerated 6.2 percent.

By Richa Naidu and Arriana McLymore; Editor: Nick Zieminski

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