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Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports April Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, WA, May 05, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --

Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: COST) today reported net sales of $6.80 billion for the month of April, the four weeks ended May 1, 2011, an increase of 17 percent from $5.83 billion during the similar period last year. This year's four-week period for April included 27 days of sales compared to 28 last year; Easter fell in the reporting month of March last year. This calendar shift negatively impacted this year's April total and comparable sales by approximately 1 1/2% to 2%, resulting from one less sales day this year, partially offset by several days of pre-Easter sales strength. Also, this year's four-week period included sales from the Company's Mexico joint venture, as the Company began consolidating its Mexico operations on a prospective basis beginning with its 2011 fiscal year (on August 30, 2010); without those sales the net sales increase would have been 14 percent.

For the thirty-five weeks of its reporting period ended May 1, 2011, the Company reported net sales of $57.59 billion, an increase of 13 percent from $51.04 billion during the similar period last year; excluding Mexico sales, the increase would have been 10 percent.

Comparable sales for the four-week and thirty-five-week periods ended May 1, 2011, including Mexico operations for last year and this year, were as follows:

                                     4 Weeks   35 Weeks
                                   ---------- ----------

                   U.S.                11%         6%
                   International       16%        14%

                   Total Company       12%         8%
                                   ========== ==========

Inflation in gasoline prices and strengthening foreign currencies had a positive impact on comparable sales. Excluding these effects, comparable sales for the four-week and thirty-five-week periods were as follows:

                                     4 Weeks  35 Weeks
                                   ---------- ----------

                   U.S.                 6%        4%
                   International       10%        9%

                   Total Company        7%        5%
                                   ========== ==========

Additional discussion of these sales results is available in a pre-recorded telephone message. You can access the recording by dialing 1-800-642-1687 (conference ID 25103113). This message will be available today through 5:00 p.m. (PT) on Friday, May 6, 2011.

Costco currently operates 580 warehouses, including 425 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 80 in Canada, 22 in the United Kingdom, seven in Korea, six in Taiwan, seven in Japan, one in Australia and 32 in Mexico. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at www.costco.com and at www.costco.ca in Canada. The Company plans to open up to thirteen additional warehouses (including the relocation of a warehouse to a larger and better-located facility, the reopening of San Marcos, CA -- previously closed for an onsite relocation, and the reopening of Makuhari, Japan -- temporarily closed for earthquake damage repairs) prior to the end of its 2011 fiscal year on August 28, 2011.

Certain statements contained in this document and the pre-recorded telephone message constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. For these purposes, forward-looking statements are statements that address activities, events, conditions or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may occur in the future. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events, results or performance to differ materially from those indicated by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, domestic and international economic conditions, including exchange rates, the effects of competition and regulation, uncertainties in the financial markets, consumer and small business spending patterns and debt levels, conditions affecting the acquisition, development, ownership or use of real estate, actions of vendors, rising costs associated with employees (including health care costs), energy, and certain commodities, geopolitical conditions and other risks identified from time to time in the Company's public statements and reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACTS:Costco Wholesale CorporationJeff Elliott425/313-8264David Sherwood 425/313-8239

SOURCE: Costco

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