One year from today (December 18, 2015) the seventh episode of the Star Wars saga will be released into movie theaters around the world. The movie will only last two hours, but kids will relive the movie for years afterwards with the Star Wars action figures and other new toys that will accompany the film. Forecasting demand for toys and merchandise associated with a major movie release can be quite challenging. When the original Star Wars action figures were released in late 1977 there was a huge supply shortage the following Christmas.
Last December, during a 60 Minutes interview, Jeff Bezos announced his plans for Amazon Prime Air, a service that would deliver packages to consumer’s homes using a fleet of drones. Since then the retail industry has gone absolutely bonkers exploring new ways of delivering packages ordered online to consumer’s homes. Amazon has announced it is testing delivery via taxicabs and bicycle couriers. DHL and Walmart are experimenting with crowdsourcing delivery to random people. eBay and startups like WunWun offer concierge services that will deliver just about anything to your home in less than an hour. Cardrops in the UK will store packages in your car’s trunk while you are away. Soon you will be able to order a present on Christmas morning to be delivered in less than one-hour, fully wrapped, just in time for you to put under the tree.