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May 10, 2001 at 4:03 AM EDT

Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports April Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 10, 2001--Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: COST) today reported net sales of $2.56 billion for the four weeks ended May 6, 2001, an increase of 12 percent from $2.28 billion in the same four-week period of the prior fiscal year. On a comparable warehouse basis, that is warehouses open at least a year, sales increased 6 percent. These sales results include an increase in the sales of tobacco in the third week of the four-week reporting period, due to a price increase announced by the major tobacco companies, which benefited sales by approximately 1 to 2 percent.

For the first thirty-five weeks of its 2001 fiscal year ended May 6, 2001, the Company reported net sales of $22.54 billion, an increase of 9 percent from $20.62 billion during the comparable period of the prior fiscal year. Comparable warehouse sales for the year-to-date period increased 4 percent over the prior year's level.

The Company plans to release its earnings results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2001 (the 12 weeks ending May 13, 2001) on May 31, 2001. A conference call to discuss these results is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. (PDT), May 31, 2001, and is available via a webcast on www.costco.com (go to Customer Service, Investor Relations, Financial Releases and click on the "Live Webcast" icon).

Costco currently operates 359 warehouses, including 259 in the United States, 60 in Canada, 11 in the United Kingdom, five in Korea, three in Taiwan, two in Japan and 19 in Mexico. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at www.costco.com. The Company plans to open an additional five to seven new warehouses prior to the end of its 2001 fiscal year on September 2, 2001.

--30--kmw/se*

CONTACT: Costco Wholesale Corporation
Richard Galanti, 425/313-8203
Bob Nelson, 425/313-8255