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April 17, 2001 at 12:23 PM EDT

Costco Wholesale Opens Third Warehouse in Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 17, 2001--Costco (Nasdaq:COST) will open its third membership warehouse in Texas on Friday, April 27, at 8 a.m.

The new 148,000-square-foot warehouse is located at 600 W. Arbrook Blvd. in Arlington. It will employ approximately 200 people, according to Warehouse Manager Rob Roth.

Like Costco's other locations, the Arlington warehouse will offer quality, name-brand and private-label merchandise at substantially lower prices than can be found through conventional wholesale or retail sources. In addition to providing a wide range of products and services for personal use, Costco's warehouses also help small-to-medium-sized businesses reduce costs on purchasing for resale.

This warehouse will be Costco's third in Texas, 257th in the U.S. and 357th worldwide.

"We have one mission," Costco President and CEO Jim Sinegal said, "to sell top-quality merchandise to our members at the lowest possible prices." The company is able to do this by eliminating many of the costly overhead expenses faced by traditional retailers and wholesalers, such as fancy display cases, salespeople, advertising and billing.

"We run a tight operation with extremely low overhead and a focus on first-quality products and services," Sinegal continued. "That allows us to pass on dramatic savings and values to our members."

Costco is a pioneer and leader in the $60-billion membership warehouse industry. After paying a nominal fee to join, Costco members can shop at low warehouse prices for national name-brand merchandise such as Kodak, Georgia Pacific, Kraft, Coke, 3M, Ray-Ban, Michelin, Disney, Compaq, Microsoft and hundreds more.

Featured departments will include Fresh Bakery, Fresh Meat, Fresh Produce, Gourmet Deli, Rotisserie Chicken, Optical Department, 1 Hour Photo, Pharmacy, Tire Center and Food Court.

Members also can shop for Costco's Kirkland Signature products, designed to be of equal or better quality than national brands, including diapers, fresh foods, frozen foods, coffee, infant formula, tires, clothing, detergent and more.

Costco is open to Costco members only. All businesses, licensed professionals, members of qualified groups and others are eligible to join. The annual membership fee is $45 for Business or Gold Star Members. All memberships include a free spouse card. Costco Wholesale membership cards are accepted at all Costco locations around the world and online at costco.com.

The company also offers an enhanced category of membership called the Executive Membership. Executive Members receive additional savings on services such as long-distance telephone plans, check printing, small-business communications and exclusive services such as credit card processing, payroll processing and business financing. Executive Members in the U.S. get a 2% Reward of up to $500 on most of their annual Costco purchases.

In addition to the Executive Member reward program, all Costco members may receive up to 2% back through the American Express(R) Platinum Cash Rebate Credit Card offered exclusively to qualified Costco members. While Costco accepts all American Express Cards as a payment option, this special Card is offered for no additional credit card fee and may be used everywhere American Express is accepted. In addition, this Card offers many member benefits such as a low annual percentage rate, no annual credit card fee, flexibility to carry a balance or to pay in full each month and more.

Costco began its online presence in 1995 with an informational Web site, and in November 1998 began conducting e-commerce at costco.com. The Web site offers a wide selection of name-brand merchandise and services, including Business Center. Product categories include computers, major appliances, floral delivery, jewelry, books, CDs, DVDs, travel and pharmacy.

Costco's membership and pricing strategies helped it to become one of the fastest-growing companies in the history of American business. Costco has 357 locations and more than 33 million cardholders throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

Costco Wholesale's home office is located in Issaquah, Washington. The company is publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol COST.

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CONTACT: Costco Wholesale
Richard Galanti, 425/313-8203
or
Ginnie Roeglin, 425/313-6261