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July 8, 1999 at 6:03 AM EDT

Costco Companies, Inc. Reports Recent Sales Results

    Business Editors

    ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 8, 1999--Costco Companies, Inc., (the "Company") (Nasdaq:COST) today reported net sales of $ 2.72 billion for the five weeks ended July 4, 1999, an increase of 13 percent from $2.41 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 11 percent. This year's five-week period included 33 days of sales compared to 34 days during the year-earlier period, reflecting the timing of Memorial Day.

For the first forty-four weeks of its 1999 fiscal year ended July 4, 1999, the Company reported net sales of $22.64 billion, an increase of 13 percent from $20.06 billion during the first forty-four 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 eight additional new warehouses (including two relocations of existing warehouses to larger and better-located facilities).

     --30--RYG/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