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December 3, 1998 at 12:00 AM EST

Costco Companies, Inc. Reports November Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 3, 1998--Costco Companies, Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:COST) today reported net sales of $2.21 billion for the four weeks ended November 29, 1998, an increase of 13 percent from $1.96 billion in the same four-week period of the prior fiscal year. On a comparable warehouse basis, that is warehouses open at least a year, sales increased 9 percent. These increases included a significant increase in the sales of cigarettes in the final week of the four-week reporting period, due to a price increase announced by the major tobacco companies. Excluding these extra sales, total sales and comparable sales for the four-week November period would have been 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

For the first thirteen weeks of its 1999 fiscal year ended November 29, 1998, the Company reported net sales of $6.50 billion, an increase of 12 percent from $5.82 billion during the first thirteen-week period 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 has 285 warehouses in operation: 217 in the United States (including recent openings in Schaumburg and Oak Brook, Illinois; Union, New Jersey; and Goleta, California), 57 in Canada (including the recent relocation of its Vaughan, Ontario warehouse), seven in the United Kingdom, three in Korea, and one warehouse in Taiwan. The Company also operates 15 warehouses in Mexico with a joint venture partner (including a recent opening in Polanco, Mexico City). An additional warehouse will open in Interlomas, Mexico City prior to calendar year-end.

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