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News Release

Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports August, Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2005 Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash., Sep 01, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Costco Wholesale Corporation (Nasdaq: COST) today reported net sales of $4.09 billion for the four weeks ended August 28, 2005, an increase of 12 percent from $3.64 billion in the same four-week period of the prior fiscal year.

For the 16-week fiscal fourth quarter ended August 28, 2005, the Company reported net sales of $16.37 billion, an increase of 10 percent from $14.83 billion during last year's fiscal fourth quarter.

For the 52-week fiscal year ended August 28, 2005, the Company reported net sales of $51.87 billion, an increase of 10 percent from $47.15 billion during the prior fiscal year.

Comparable sales for the 4-week, 16-week and 52-week periods ended August 28, 2005, were as follows:

4 Weeks         16 Weeks        52 Weeks
                      ---------------- --------------- ---------------
US                           9%              6%              6%
International               11%              12%             11%

Total Company                9%              7%              7%
                      ================ =============== ===============

Reported net sales were reduced by the implementation of Emerging Issues Task Force Issue No. 03-10 ("EITF 03-10"), "Application of Issue No. 02-16 by Resellers to Sales Incentives Offered to Consumers by Manufacturers," which was effective at the beginning of the Company's fiscal 2004 third quarter, February 16, 2004. Sales for the 4-week and 16-week reporting periods are on a comparable after-coupon basis; however, had sales for the 52-week fiscal year 2004 been reported under EITF 03-10, the total Company comparable sales increase would have been 8 percent.

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# 5076011). This recorded message will be available today through 5:00 PM (PDT) on Friday, September 2, 2005.

The Company plans to release its operating results for the fourth quarter (16 weeks) and fiscal year 2005 (52 weeks) ended August 28, 2005 on October 6, 2005. A conference call to discuss these fourth quarter results is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. (PDT) on October 6th, and will be available via a webcast on www.costco.com (click on Customer Service, Investor Relations, Financial Releases and lastly the "Live Webcast" icon.)

Costco currently operates 460 warehouses, including 338 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 65 in Canada, 16 in the United Kingdom, five in Korea, four in Taiwan, five in Japan and 27 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 12 to 13 new warehouses (including the relocation of one warehouse to a larger and better-located facility) prior to the end of calendar year 2005.

Certain statements contained in this release 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, consumer and small business spending patterns and debt levels, rising costs associated with employees (including health care and workers' compensation costs), conditions affecting the acquisition, development, ownership or use of real estate, actions of vendors, and other risks identified from time to time in the Company's public statements and reports filed with the SEC.

SOURCE: Costco Wholesale Corporation


Costco Wholesale Corporation
Richard Galanti,
425-313-8203
Jeff Elliott,
425-313-8264