In this article we explore the effects of incorporating forecasts explicitly in a two-echelon allocation model which consists of a central depot and several retailers. In particular, we investigate the possible benefits on the system costs and inventory levels. The depot does not hold any inventory and the demand is observed only at the retailers. Under a general correlated demand-forecast structure we obtain the approximate system-wide order-up-to level and the expected system cost. In order to assess the value of information provided by keeping track of the forecasts, we construct a comparable inventory system operating under a standard demand model. We demonstrate that the standard demand model results in higher order-up-to levels and higher system costs. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.