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Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports December Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/03/13 -- Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: COST) today reported net sales of $11.21 billion for the month of December, the five weeks ended December 30, 2012, an increase of twelve percent from $10.05 billion during the similar five-week period last year. This year's five-week period contained an extra day compared to last year, due to the timing of the New Year's holiday, which positively impacted total and comparable sales by approximately 2%.

For the first seventeen weeks of its fiscal year ended December 30, 2012, the Company reported net sales of $34.42 billion, an increase of nine percent from $31.68 billion during the similar period last year.

Comparable sales for the five-week and seventeen-week periods ended December 30, 2012, were as follows:

                                     5 Weeks 17 Weeks
                                    -------- --------
                      U.S.             8%       6%
                      International    10%      8%

                      Total Company    9%       6%
                                    ======== ========

Inflation in gasoline prices and stronger foreign currencies had a positive impact on comparable sales. Excluding these effects, comparable sales were as follows:

                                     5 Weeks 17 Weeks
                                    -------- --------
                      U.S.             8%       5%
                      International    6%       5%

                      Total Company    8%       5%
                                    ======== ========

Additional discussion of these sales results is available in a pre-recorded telephone message. The recording can be accessed by dialing 1-855-859-2056 (conference ID 73972299). This message will be available today through 5:00 p.m. (PT) on Friday, January 4, 2013.

The Company's Annual Meeting of Shareholders will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. at the Meydenbauer Center, 11100 NE 6th Street, Bellevue, WA 98004.

Costco currently operates 622 warehouses, including 448 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 85 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 23 in the United Kingdom, 13 in Japan, nine in Taiwan, nine in Korea and three in Australia. Costco also operates electronic commerce web sites, at (U.S.), (Canada), and (United Kingdom).

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.

Costco Wholesale Corporation
Richard Galanti
Bob Nelson
Jeff Elliott

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