In addition to the large sizes of products, buyers may also get overwhelmed by the scale of the average Costco store. Dr. Avena noted that a typical Costco is gigantic, measuring about 146,000 feet. How does entering such a space play out psychologically? “If you’re not prepared, you may find yourself overstimulated and overwhelmed before you even make it inside,” said the psychologist.
Avena continued, “Being in a crowd is now associated with the fear of getting seriously ill, no matter where the crowd is, or even if it’s a small crowd. What’s especially difficult is catching an illness isn’t something you can see (and therefore control more or less).” Obviously, that makes it difficult to determine the level of exposure you’re facing while around other customers. “If someone coughs or sneezes,” Avena explained, “your anxiety may get even worse.”
Even leaving the store may cause anxiety for some.