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Nation's leading chain of wholesale club stores.

999 Lake Drive
Issaquah, WA 98027
Employees: 288,000
CEO: Craig Jelinek
Stock Symbol: COST

Website: http://www.costco.com

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Costco operates an international chain of membership warehouses that carry quality, brand name merchandise at substantially lower prices than are typically found at conventional wholesale or retail stores. The warehouses are designed to help individuals and small-to-medium-sized businesses reduce costs in purchasing for resale and for everyday business use.

Costco operates 815 warehouses with 564 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico; 105 locations in Canada; 29 locations in the United Kingdom; 14 locations in Taiwan; 16 locations in Korea; 30 locations in Japan; 39 locations in Mexico; 12 in Australia; and 3 locations in Spain; and one store each in Iceland, France and China. Stores range in size from 80,000 to 230,000 square feet with the average size of 146,000 square feet. Many stores also have gas stations.

Costco stores carry an average of 3,700 different stock keeping units(SKUs), far less than broader retailers.

Costco has 189,000 full and part-time employees and 288,000 total.

The company has over 109 million members worldwide. Membership renewal rates in the U.S. and Canada are 90 percent.

Costco is open only to members and offers three types of membership: Business, Gold Star (individual) and the Executive membership.

Business and Gold Star members pay an annual fee of $60. Executive Memberships in the U.S. and Canada cost $120 (Primary membership of $60, plus the Executive upgrade of $60),.

Costco sells products in a variety of categories that include groceries, candy, appliances, television and media, automotive supplies, tires, toys, hardware, sporting goods, jewelry, watches, cameras, books, housewares, apparel, health and beauty aids, tobacco, furniture, office supplies and office equipment. Costco's private label products are under the Kirkland Signature name.

Costco doesn't mark up its products more than 15% from their wholesale cost.

For fiscal 2020, Costco reported net sales of $163.2 billion, up from $149.3 billion in 2019. Net income was $4.0 billion.

The company said average sales per warehouse were $192 million in 2020.


Costco was founded in 1982 by Jeff Brotman and James Sinegal. They opened the first Costco Wholesale Club in Seattle in 1983. The company would merge with rival wholesale club Price Company in 1993. The company changed its name from PriceCostco to Costco in 1997.

The company went public on December 5, 1985 at the price of $10 per share.

On June 20, 2016, Costco ended a long-time partnership with American Express and began offering Visa credit and debit cards in partnership with Citibank.


Costco is known for providing excellent benefits to employees. The company offers the highest pay in retailing with workers averaging $20 an hour. Salaried employees are eligible for benefits after the first month of hire. Full-time hourly employees can receive benefits after 90 days, 180 days for part-timers.

Medical, dental, vision and pharmacy plans are offered. Healthcare reimbursement accounts are available and life and disability insurance are provided to employees.

A 401(k) plans is available and Costco matches employee contributions 50 cents on the dollar for the first $1,000 each year to a maximum company match of $500 a year. In addition, once an employee meets the eligibility requirements, the company adds an additional amount to each employee's account every year, which is based on the employee's years of service and eligible earnings.

Updated September 6, 2021