Is Your Costco Clockwise or Counterclockwise? Here's Why Knowing Helps

When it comes to Costco hacks, this is a big one.

There are a lot of things to consider when you go shopping. Store layout probably isn't something you've ever given much thought to, beyond remembering where your favorite snacks are usually located. When it comes to shopping at Costco, though, the layout is a big deal. Apparently, all Costco stores are laid out either clockwise or counterclockwise, and knowing which way your local store goes is important.

Shopping at Costco can be overwhelming, but there are various hacks that will save you money or time when shopping at the megastore. This one, uncovered by Reddit user @alexj765, will do a little bit of both. According to the Costo aficionado, a clockwise store means that the entrance is on the left and the exit is on the right. Counterclockwise stores are set up the opposite way. Knowing the difference can save you tons of time searching for the products you usually buy, and money by helping you avoid distractions while you search.

"3 of 4 Costco stores in my area are clockwise stores, so anytime I visit the 4th store I feel out of my element," the Reddit user wrote.

They also posted a poll asking others whether their local Costco was clockwise or counterclockwise. The majority of respondents, 536 at the time of writing, said their warehouse store was set up counterclockwise, but over 350 said theirs was the opposite. The poll isn't entirely telling of how every Costco is set up, however. One user pointed out that some stores are multi-level and some are just working with different amounts of space.

Although all Costcos are not created equally, they all have similarities, and entering a clockwise one when you're used to a counterclockwise setup can be confusing.

"It's like being in the Upsidedown," one user commented about shopping at a location that has the opposite layout. "It is the uncanny valley of bulk shopping."

"Every one I’ve been to is counter, then I went to one that was clockwise and it absolutely wrecked my brain," said another.

It doesn't help that, per a 2018 Business Insider article, Costco stores purposely move items around frequently in order to get members to buy more as they search for certain things.

However, you can rest easy knowing that every store has what's called "The Race Track" at the center, and once you find that you'll be able to hit every department in the shop from it.

If ever you get lost, just search for a helpful employee and ask for directions. They should be able to get you in and out with only a few extra things that weren't on your list. If not, you can at least grab some free samples to sustain you while you figure it out.

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it—find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.