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August 5, 1999 at 5:32 AM EDT

Costco Companies, Inc. Reports Recent Sales Results

    Business Editors

    ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 5, 1999--Costco Companies, Inc., (the "Company") (Nasdaq:COST) today reported net sales of $2.15 billion for the four weeks ended August 1, 1999, an increase of 14 percent from $1.89 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.

For the first forty-eight weeks of its 1999 fiscal year ended August 1, 1999, the Company reported net sales of $24.79 billion, an increase of 13 percent from $21.95 billion during the first forty-eight 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 290 warehouses, including 219 in the United States, 58 in Canada, seven in the United Kingdom, three in Korea, two 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 three additional new warehouses (including the relocation of an existing warehouse to a larger and better-located facility).

   --30--KS/se*

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

   KEYWORD:  WASHINGTON
   INDUSTRY KEYWORD:  RETAIL