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September 3, 2008 at 3:03 AM EDT

Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports August Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, WA, Sep 03, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco") (NASDAQ: COST) today reported net sales of $5.41 billion for the month of August, the four weeks ended August 31, 2008, an increase of 12 percent from $4.84 billion in the same four-week period last year.

Net sales for the fiscal 2008 fourth quarter, the sixteen weeks ended August 31, 2008, were $22.60 billion, an increase of 12 percent from $20.09 billion in the sixteen-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 ended September 2, 2007.

Net sales for the 52-week fiscal year 2008 were $70.95 billion, an increase of 12 percent from $63.09 billion in the 52-week fiscal year 2007 ended September 2, 2007.

Comparable sales for the four-week retail-reporting month of August, the 16-week fiscal fourth quarter and the 52-week fiscal year 2008 are as follows:

                                              4 Weeks   16 Weeks  52 Weeks
                                              --------  --------  --------
US                                                   9%        9%        6%
International                                        6%       11%       15%
Total Company                                        9%        9%        8%
                                              ========  ========  ========

The four-week U.S. comparable sales figure includes, among other things, the effect of gasoline price inflation, with the average sales price per gallon of gasoline up 40 percent, as compared to the year-earlier August. Excluding gasoline price inflation, U.S. comparable sales would have been up 6 percent. In addition, foreign exchange rates negatively impacted international comparable sales results. On a local currency basis, international comparable sales increased 8 percent in August.

Additional discussion of these sales results is available on a pre-recorded telephone message. You can access the recording by dialing 1-800-642-1687 (conference ID 47691872). This recorded message will be available today through 5:00 p.m. (PT) on Friday, September 5, 2008.

The Company plans to release its operating results for the fourth quarter (16 weeks) and for the fiscal year (52 weeks) ended August 31, 2008, on October 8, 2008. The retail sales results for the month of September will also be announced on that date. A conference call to discuss these results is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. (PT) that day and will be available via webcast on www.costco.com (click on Investor Relations and "webcasts").

Costco ended its 52-week fiscal year on August 31, 2008 with 543 warehouses in operation, including 398 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 75 in Canada, 20 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 eight to nine new warehouses in the first four months of fiscal 2009, prior to the end of calendar 2008.

Certain statements contained in this document and the pre-recorded telephone message 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
Bob Nelson
425/313-8255
Jeff Elliott
425/313-8264

SOURCE: Costco