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June 3, 1999 at 5:34 AM EDT

Costco Companies, Inc. Reports Recent Sales Results

    Business Editors

    ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 3, 1999--Costco Companies, Inc., (the "Company") (Nasdaq:COST) today reported net sales of $2.15 billion for the four weeks ended May 30, 1999, an increase of 15 percent from $1.87 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 11 percent. This year's four-week period included 28 days of sales compared to 27 days during the year-earlier period, reflecting the timing of Memorial Day, which positively impacted sales by approximately 2 to 3 percent.

For the first thirty-nine weeks of its 1999 fiscal year ended May 30, 1999, the Company reported net sales of $19.92 billion, an increase of 13 percent from $17.65 billion during the first thirty-nine weeks of the prior fiscal year. Comparable warehouse sales for this year-to-date period increased 9 percent over the prior year's level.

Costco currently operates 288 warehouses, including 218 in the United States, 58 in Canada, seven in the United Kingdom, three in Korea, one in Taiwan, and a warehouse in Japan; as well as 16 additional warehouses in Mexico with a joint venture partner. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at www.costco.com. Expansion plans for the remainder of its 1999 fiscal year, ending August 29, 1999, include opening an additional ten new warehouses (including three relocations of existing warehouses to larger and better-located facilities).

     --30--DS/se*

     CONTACT: Costco Companies, Inc.
              Richard Galanti, 425/313-8203
              Bob Nelson, 425/313-8255
     
     KEYWORD: WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL CANADA EUROPE ASIA PACIFIC
LATIN AMERICA
     INDUSTRY KEYWORD: RETAIL