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December 14, 2000 at 4:07 AM EST

Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2001 Operating Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 14, 2000--Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: COST) announced today its operating results for the first quarter of fiscal 2001, the 12 weeks ended November 26, 2000.

Sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2001 increased 10% to $7.50 billion from $6.82 billion during the first quarter of fiscal 2000. On a comparable warehouse basis, that is warehouses open at least a year, net sales increased by 5%.

Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2001 was $129.5 million, or $.28 per diluted share, compared to $129.3 million, or $.28 per diluted share, during the first quarter of fiscal 2000.

Costco currently operates 349 warehouses, including 251 in the United States, 59 in Canada, 11 in the United Kingdom, four 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.

As previously announced, a conference call to discuss these first quarter results is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. (PST), December 14, 2000, 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 WHOLESALE CORPORATION

              CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
             (dollars in thousands, except per share data)
                              (unaudited)

                                               12 Weeks Ended
                                         ----------------------------
                                         November 26,    November 21,
                                             2000            1999
                                         -----------      -----------
REVENUE
  Net sales                              $ 7,498,979      $ 6,824,197
  Membership fees and other                  138,299          119,315
                                         -----------      -----------
    Total revenue                          7,637,278        6,943,512
OPERATING EXPENSES
  Merchandise costs                        6,713,644        6,120,201
  Selling, general and
   administrative                            691,127          596,717
  Preopening expenses                         19,680           10,334
  Provision for impaired assets
   and warehouse closing costs                 1,000            1,000
                                         -----------      -----------
    Operating income                         211,827          215,260
OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE)
  Interest expense                            (6,964)         (10,397)
  Interest income and other                   11,005           10,667
                                         -----------      -----------
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES                   215,868          215,530
  Provision for income taxes                  86,347           86,212
                                         -----------      -----------
NET INCOME                               $   129,521      $   129,318
                                         ===========      ===========

NET INCOME PER COMMON AND
  COMMON EQUIVALENT SHARE:
                                         -----------      -----------
  Basic                                  $      0.29      $      0.29
                                         ===========      ===========
  Diluted                                $      0.28      $      0.28
                                         ===========      ===========

Shares used in calculation (000's)
  Basic                                      447,676          443,300
  Diluted                                    473,920          473,414

--30--CER/se*

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