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April 7, 1999 at 5:36 AM EDT

Costco Companies, Inc. Reports Recent Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 7, 1999--Costco Companies, Inc., (the "Company") (Nasdaq:COST) today reported net sales of $2.44 billion for the five weeks ended April 4, 1999, an increase of 12 percent from $2.17 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 8 percent. This year's five-week period included 34 days of sales compared to 35 days during the year-earlier period, reflecting the timing of Easter, which negatively impacted sales by approximately 2 percent.

For the first thirty-one weeks of its 1999 fiscal year ended April 4, 1999, the Company reported net sales of $15.75 billion, an increase of 12 percent from $14.01 billion during the first thirty-one 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 286 warehouses, including 217 in the United States, 58 in Canada, seven in the United Kingdom, three in Korea, and one in Taiwan; and 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 15 to 17 new warehouses (including five relocations of existing warehouses to larger and better-located facilities).

     --30--APS/se*

     CONTACTS: Costco Companies, Inc.
               Bob Nelson, 425/313-8255
               David Petterson, 425/313-8245

     KEYWORD: WASHINGTON
     INDUSTRY KEYWORD: RETAIL EARNINGS