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April 8, 1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

Costco Companies, Inc. Reports Recent Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash., April 8 -- Costco Companies, Inc., (the “Company”) (Nasdaq: COST) today reported net sales of $2.17 billion for the five weeks ended April 5, 1998, an increase of 11 percent from $1.96 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 9 percent. This year’s five-week period included 35 days of sales compared to 34 days during the year-earlier period, reflecting the timing of Easter, which impacted sales positively by an estimated 2%.

For the first thirty-one weeks of its 1998 fiscal year ended April 5, 1998, the Company reported net sales of $14.01 billion, an increase of 11 percent from $12.66 billion during the first thirty-one 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 270 warehouses: 206 in the United States, 56 in Canada, seven in the United Kingdom, and one warehouse in Taiwan. The Company also operates 14 warehouses in Mexico with a joint venture partner, and has a license agreement for the operation of two membership warehouses in Korea. Expansion plans for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends on August 30, 1998, are to open 6 to 8 additional new warehouses, including five warehouses in the Detroit, Michigan area.

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