Purpose It was reported that the chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1) from cancer cells stimulated the recruitment of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal cells (BM-MCs) into tumor stroma via chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 2 (CXCR2) signaling. We conducted this retrospective study to determine the clinicopathologic significance of the CXCL1-CXCR2 axis in human gastric cancer. Methods The correlations between the clinicopathological features of 270 primary gastric carcinomas and CXCL1 in cancer cells and CXCR2 in stromal cells were analyzed in immunohistochemical studies. The effect of gastric cancer cells on the expression of CXCR2 in BM-MCs was examined using diffuse-type gastric cancer cell lines in vitro. Results The expression of CXCL1 in cancer cells was correlated with T invasion (T2-T4), lymph node metastasis, lymphatic invasion, venous invasion, peritoneal cytology, peritoneal metastasis and CXCR2 expression in stromal cells. The expression of CXCR2 in stromal cells was correlated with macroscopic type-4 cancers, histological type, T invasion (T2-T4), lymph node metastasis, lymphatic invasion, infiltration, peritoneal cytology, peritoneal metastasis and CD271 expression in stromal cells. The overall survival of patients with CXCL1 and CXCR2-positive cancer was poorer than that of the patients with negative cancer. Both CXCL1 expression in cancer cells and CXCR2 expression in stromal cells were independent prognostic factors for gastric cancer patients. Conclusion The expressions of CXCL1 in cancer cells and CXCR2 in stromal cells are useful prognostic factors for gastric cancer patients.