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March 19, 2009 at 7:08 PM EDT

Costco Wholesale Opens New Business Center in Hawthorne, CA

ISSAQUAH, WA, Mar 19, 2009 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST), the leading warehouse club operator, is opening a new Costco Business Center in Hawthorne, CA, at 8 a.m. on Friday, March 20, 2009, to better serve Los Angeles-area businesses. The new Costco Business Center stocks more business-oriented products than standard Costco Wholesale warehouses. Businesses have two ways to purchase from the Costco Business Center -- either shop the warehouse at 12530 Prairie Ave., in Hawthorne, or receive delivery from the Costco fleet. Delivery orders can be placed online at or by phone or fax.

"Our Business Centers cater to businesses by offering products for their specific needs. We carry more than 7,000 diverse items, including vending products, convenience store items, restaurant/institutional foods, hospitality products and office necessities such as office supplies, office furniture, office equipment, janitorial and break-room supplies," states Phil Lind, Vice President of Business Centers for Costco Wholesale.

The Business Center may look similar to standard Costco Wholesale warehouses, but a few differences exist, such as earlier shopping hours, enabling business members to shop during regular Business Center hours. The location is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and closed on Sunday. Business Centers also house a Costco Print & Copy Center to provide copying, binding and printing solutions, along with imprinted promotional items. Costco membership is required at the Business Center and all Costco members are welcome (Executive, Business and Gold Star).

The new Costco Business Center offers next-business-day delivery to most businesses within the Los Angeles area on orders placed by 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. While delivery has been available throughout the Los Angeles area since 1992, an expanded product mix, including refrigerated, frozen and bakery items; fresh meat and produce; and tobacco, along with a wider assortment of candy, snacks and beverages, is available for delivery with the Hawthorne location opening. There is no minimum order requirement for delivery, but a $20 delivery fee is charged on orders under $250.

"Friday, March 20, will mark two significant milestones: The opening of the first Costco Business Center serving the greater Los Angeles basin; and the second Costco location in the City of Hawthorne," states George Cranmer, Hawthorne Costco Business Center manager. "On behalf of the Hawthorne Business Center staff, we are excited to be a part of the Hawthorne business community. We look forward to providing our Business Members a one-stop-shopping experience at our state-of-the-art Business Center, coupled with our ability to deliver to our members' businesses all the products available at the Business Center."

The Hawthorne Costco Business Center is the sixth Costco Business Center in the United States. Other locations are in Lynnwood, Wash.; Fife, Wash.; Hayward, Calif.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Phoenix, Ariz. There are also two Costco Business Delivery locations -- in Buena Park, Calif., and San Diego, Calif. The first Costco Business Center opened in 1996.

Costco currently operates 553 warehouses, including 406 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 76 in Canada, 21 in the United Kingdom, six in Korea, five in Taiwan, eight in Japan and 31 in Mexico. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce Web site, at and at in Canada. The Company plans to open an additional nine to ten new warehouses prior to the end of its 2009 fiscal year on Aug. 30, 2009.

Costco Wholesale Corporation
Phil Lind

SOURCE: Costco