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May 29, 2009 at 1:45 PM EDT

Costco Wholesale Corporation Announces Expansion of Its Pilot Test for Accepting Food Stamps

ISSAQUAH, WA, May 29, 2009 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco") (NASDAQ: COST) announced today that it will accept food stamps at its new 116th Street location now under development in New York City, in addition to the two previously announced test locations in Queens and Brooklyn. The Manhattan location, scheduled to be open within the coming year, is part of the East River Plaza redevelopment project in the Harlem neighborhood in Manhattan.

Costco CEO, Jim Sinegal, stated: "Our announcement earlier this week of the food stamp test in our two existing New York City locations was apparently misunderstood by some. It was always our intention to include the new 116th Street location, either as part of the ongoing test or as a permanent fixture depending on the exact opening date for East River Plaza. When we announced that the test, if successful, would result in adding food stamp acceptance to all New York City locations, we did not mention 116th Street specifically because we wanted to be inclusive of all planned locations, some of which have not been publicly announced. As a result of a phone call I received from Congressman Charles Rangel, we now understand the special sensitivity in New York to this long-awaited project in his district. So, to remove any doubt we may have inadvertently caused, Representative Rangel asked that we make this clarification. We are grateful to Mr. Rangel for the respect he showed for our company in bringing this to our attention. We appreciate that he has a very special interest in the well-being of the people in that neighborhood, and respect his point of view."

Costco currently operates 555 warehouses, including 407 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 77 in Canada, 21 in the United Kingdom, six in Korea, five in Taiwan, eight in Japan and 31 in Mexico. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at www.costco.com and at www.costco.ca in Canada. The Company plans to open an additional six new warehouses and close its two Costco Home locations prior to the end of its 2009 fiscal year, on August 30, 2009.

Certain statements contained in this document constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. For these purposes, forward-looking statements are statements that address activities, events, conditions or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may occur in the future. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events, results or performance to differ materially from those indicated by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, domestic and international economic conditions including exchange rates, the effects of competition and regulation, uncertainties in the financial markets, consumer and small business spending patterns and debt levels, conditions affecting the acquisition, development, ownership or use of real estate, actions of vendors, rising costs associated with employees (including health care and workers' compensation costs), rising costs associated with the acquisition of merchandise (including the direct and indirect effects of the rising cost of petroleum-based products and fuel and energy costs), geopolitical conditions and other risks identified from time to time in the Company's public statements and reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACTS:
Costco Wholesale Corporation
Joel Benoliel, 425/313-8193
Richard Galanti, 425/313-8203
Bob Nelson, 425/313-8255
Jeff Elliott, 425/313-8264

SOURCE: Costco