Sunday, December 21, 2014 5:56pm CST

Shop Clockwise!

January 10 2009 by Kerry Kobashi

grocery cart

When you go shopping, do you pay attention to the direction you travel in the store? You should. There is a bit of a science in it all and Sorenson Associates has an explanation for your shopping behavior.

Do you shop counter clockwise? Or clockwise?

Sorenson's study shows that there is a dominant counter clockwise movement in stores. With right and center main entrances, shoppers tend to move in the counter clockwise direction. For grocery stores with the main entrance along the left hand side, the primary traffic moved clockwise from the front to the back of the store.

Now while there is a strong shopper path taken en route from the front to the back of the store, what about all those aisles? In the case of left entry stores, foot traffic tended to drift more towards the front of the store than a right entrance store. This suggests that people would tend to gravitate towards the checkout stand more quickly and spend less time in the store. Sorenson says that right entry stores result in sale increases by $2.63 per shopping cart.

One could conclude that if you are going to build a grocery store, build one that has its main entrance on the right side of the store so that people stay in the aisles longer.

For the rest of us shoppers, my suggestion is to shop clockwise and save yourself some money.

About Kerry Kobashi

Kerry Kobashi picture

Kerry is the founder of KerryOnWorld. He lives in Silicon Valley.