Here is a clip from an article I recently received in email. I found it somewhat timely. Thought you might enjoy it too.
If you recently spent some time circling a mall parking lot, looking for a place to park, you may want to consider an approach recommended to CNBC.com by former math teacher Joseph Pagano. "Rather than circle the lot, idle in an aisle where you can see 10 spaces ahead of you on either side (20 total). Given the average holiday shopping trip duration of 77 minutes, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of those 20 spots should open up in 3.85 minutes or less of waiting."
Personally, I use the Bell Curve method. If you look at an aerial view of parking near a store or mall entrance a distinct Bell Curve can be seen. Just parking two or three rows away form the central door access point can get you a pretty close space.