Believe it or not, there is actually a product out of stock this Holiday season – Amazon’s Kindle. Oprah announced that she loves her Kindle and sales have exceeded Amazon’s expectations. The forecast is that they will not be in stock until February. The key question is how many unit sales will they lose because they are not available in the peak month of the year? Probably more than they want. Even if those sales are deferred to the next holiday season, it is a costly situation for the company. Of course, there is no way to know if they are just the victim of bad luck (or too much good luck) or bad planning, but it does illustrate that challenges of meeting highly uncertain demand.
Wall Street Journal Dec 4, 2008 – Better Scratch That Kindle Off Your List