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January 9, 2003 at 4:05 AM EST

Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports December Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 9, 2003--Costco Wholesale Corporation (Nasdaq: COST) today reported net sales of $4.58 billion for the five weeks ended January 5, 2003, an increase of 7 percent from $4.27 billion in the same five-week period of the prior fiscal year.

For the first 18 weeks of its 2003 fiscal year ended January 5, 2003, the Company reported net sales of $14.42 billion, an increase of 8 percent from $13.40 billion during the comparable period of the prior fiscal year.

Comparable sales for the 5-week and 18-week periods ended January 5, 2003 were as follows:

                                  5 Weeks     18 Weeks
                                  -------     --------
US                                    3%            3%
International                         2%            4%

Total Company                         3%            3%
                                  ======        ======

Costco currently operates 412 warehouses, including 304 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 61 in Canada, 15 in the United Kingdom, five in Korea, three in Taiwan, three 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 12 to 14 new warehouses, including the relocation of 4 warehouses to bigger and better locations, prior to the end of its fiscal year 2003 on August 31, 2003.

CONTACT: Costco Wholesale Corporation Bob Nelson, 425/313-8255 Jeff Elliott, 425/313-8264