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January 7, 1999 at 5:35 AM EST

Costco Companies, Inc. Reports December Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 7, 1999--Costco Companies, Inc. (Nasdaq:COST) today reported net sales of $3.09 billion for the five weeks ended January 3, 1999, an increase of 12 percent from $2.77 billion in the same five-week period of the prior fiscal year. On a comparable warehouse basis, that is warehouses open at least a year, sales increased 8 percent.

    For the first eighteen weeks of its 1999 fiscal year ended January 3, 1999, the Company reported net sales of $9.59 billion, an increase of 12 percent from $8.59 billion during the first eighteen weeks of the prior fiscal year. Comparable warehouse sales for this year-to-date period increased 8 percent over the prior year's level.

    The Company currently operates 285 warehouses, including 217 in the United States, 57 in Canada, seven in the United Kingdom, three in Korea, and one warehouse in Taiwan. The Company also operates 16 warehouses in Mexico with a joint venture partner. The Company plans to open an additional 16 to 18 warehouses (including five relocations of existing warehouses to larger and better-located facilities) prior to the end of its 1999 fiscal year on August 29, 1999.

     --30--CER/se*

     CONTACT:  Costco Companies, Inc.
               Richard Galanti, 425/313-8203
               Bob Nelson, 425/313-8255

     KEYWORD: WASHINGTON
     INDUSTRY KEYWORD: RETAIL