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January 8, 2009 at 3:03 AM EST

Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports December Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, WA, Jan 08, 2009 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco") (NASDAQ: COST) today reported net sales of $7.40 billion for the month of December, the five weeks ended January 4, 2009, a decrease of two percent from $7.55 billion in the same five-week period last year.

For the first eighteen weeks of its reporting period ended January 4, 2009, the Company reported net sales of $24.92 billion, an increase of two percent from $24.53 billion during the similar period last year.

Comparable sales for the five-week and eighteen-week periods ended January 4, 2009, were as follows:

                                           5 Weeks        18 Weeks
                                          ---------      ---------
            U.S.                             -2%            +1%
            International                   -11%            -8%
            Total Company                    -4%            -1%
                                          =========      =========

Comparable sales for the five-week and eighteen-week periods, excluding the negative impacts from gasoline deflation and foreign exchange (primarily in CN, UK and Korea), were as follows:

                                           5 Weeks        18 Weeks
                                          ---------      ---------
            U.S. (w/o gas deflation)         +2%            +3%
            International (w/o Fx)           +9%            +8%
            Total                            +4%            +4%
                                          =========      =========

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 75870037). This recorded message will be available today through 5:00 p.m. (PT) on Friday, January 9, 2009.

Costco currently operates 550 warehouses, including 403 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 76 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 13 to 15 new warehouses (including the relocation of one warehouse to a larger and better-located facility) prior to the end of its 2009 fiscal year on August 30, 2009.

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