Satellite photos of parking lots suggest more people shopping on the Friday after T-giving. Those photos also reveal that the parking lots average 35% occupancy since September. That's 65% of parking spaces left unused, on average, and keep in mind that all of those empty spaces are required by the zoning code. That's why minimum parking requirements are so problematic.
From the story:
(Reuters) - More Americans will be out shopping this year on Black Friday -- or at least that's how it looks from outer space.
Satellite images from Remote Sensing Metrics show more cars parked outside shopping malls across the country in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, and increasingly crowded parking lots usually mean higher sales.
This year 35 percent of parking spaces have been filled since mid-September on average, compared with 31 to 32 percent the previous two years, according to the data analyzed by Thomson Reuters.
This past Saturday, the last before Black Friday, the figure had risen to 42.3 percent, compared with 36.5 percent in 2009 and 30.6 percent in 2008
**This post was updated to clarify Friday parking was not specifically observed.