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September 4, 1997 at 12:00 AM EDT

Costco Companies, Inc. Reports Recent Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash., September 4 -- Costco Companies, Inc. (Nasdaq: COST) today reported net sales of $1.72 billion for the four weeks ended August 31, 1997, an increase of 12 percent from $1.53 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 10 percent.

For its 52-week 1997 fiscal year, which ended August 31, 1997, the Company reported net sales of $21.49 billion, an increase of 12 percent from $19.21 billion during its 52-week 1996 fiscal year. Comparable warehouse sales for the comparable 52-week period increased 9 percent over the prior year’s level.

The Company ended its 1997 fiscal year on August 31, 1997, with 261 warehouses in operation: 200 in the United States, 54 in Canada, six in the United Kingdom, and one warehouse in Taiwan. During its 1997 fiscal year, the Company opened 17 warehouses: 15 in the United States (including the relocation of seven warehouses to larger and better-located facilities), one in the United Kingdom, and one in Taiwan and closed one warehouse in Canada. 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. An additional eight warehouse openings (including one relocation) are planned for the Fall, prior to the Christmas holiday season.

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