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This Black Friday, Somebody’s Watching While You Shop

Eamon Javers
CNBC [1]
Friday, November 26, 2010

This weekend, as you pull into the shopping mall parking lot for the hottest Black Friday sales, it’s entirely possible that your picture will be snapped by a satellite orbiting high above the Earth.

Its being done by retail-market analysts who want to know how many customers are heading to the stores — and what that means for retail stocks this season.

And they’ve spotted a trend they think means this is going to be a very merry holiday shopping season.



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The satellites snap pictures of hundreds of shopping malls, and analysts painstakingly count the cars in the parking lots of each one, looking to pin down the fill rates of each parking lot.

Armed with that number, analysts can compare this week’s shopping activity with the same week in 2009 and in 2008.

Full story here. [1]