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May 8, 2003 at 4:01 AM EDT

Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports April Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 8, 2003--Costco Wholesale Corporation (Nasdaq: COST) today reported net sales of $3.14 billion for the four weeks ended May 4, 2003, an increase of 10 percent from $2.84 billion in the same four-week period of the prior fiscal year.

For the first 35 weeks of its 2003 fiscal year ended May 4, 2003, the Company reported net sales of $27.47 billion, an increase of 9 percent from $25.20 billion during the comparable period of the prior fiscal year.

Comparable sales for the 4-week and 35-week periods ended May 4, 2003 were as follows:

                                           4 Weeks         35 Weeks
                                        --------------  --------------
US                                             5%              4%
International                                 13%              7%

Total Company                                  6%              5%
                                        ==============  ==============

Additional discussion of these sales results is available on a pre-recorded telephone message. You can access the recording by dialing 800/642-1687 (conference ID# 441494). This recorded message will be available at 3:00 AM (PDT) today through 5:00 PM (PDT) on Friday, May 9, 2003.

The Company plans to release its third quarter fiscal year 2003 operating results on May 28, 2003. A conference call to discuss these third quarter results is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. (PDT) on May 28th, and will be available via a webcast on (click on Customer Service, Investor Relations, Financial Releases and lastly the "Live Webcast" icon).

Costco currently operates 414 warehouses, including 305 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 61 in Canada, 15 in the United Kingdom, five in Korea, three in Taiwan, four in Japan and 21 in Mexico. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at The Company plans to open an additional 5 to 6 new warehouses prior to the end of its fiscal year 2003 on August 31, 2003.

    CONTACT: Costco Wholesale Corporation Richard Galanti, 425/313-8203
             Bob Nelson, 425/313-8255

    SOURCE: Costco Wholesale Corporation