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Costco

Nation's leading chain of wholesale club stores.

Headquarters:
999 Lake Drive
Issaquah, WA 98027
Employees: 160,292
CEO: Craig Jelinek
Stock Symbol: COST

Website: http://www.costco.com

Career Site

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 638 warehouses with 454 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico; 85 locations in Canada; 25 locations in the United Kingdom; 10 locations in Taiwan; 9 locations in Korea; 18 locations in Japan; 34 locations in Mexico; and three in Australia. Stores range in size from 73,000 to 205,000 square feet with the average size of 143,000 square feet.

The company has over 60 million membership cardholders.

Costco is open only to members and offers three types of membership: Business, Gold Star (individual) and the Executive membership. Business members qualify by owning or operating a business, and pay an annual fee ($55 in the U.S.) to shop for resale, business and personal use. This fee includes a household card. Business members may purchase up to six additional membership cards ($55 each) for partners or associates in the business.

Gold Star members pay a $55 annual fee (in the U.S.), and is available to those individuals that do not own a business. This fee includes a free household membership.

The Company also has a third membership level, called the Executive Membership. In addition to offering all of the usual benefits, it allows members to purchase a variety of discounted consumer services (auto and homeowner insurance, auto buying, mortgage, refinancing, boat and RV loans, identity protection, personal check printing, and/or business services (business phone services, merchant credit card processing, health and dental insurance, payroll services, business check and forms printing, small-business 401(k) plans, small-business web sites ) at substantially reduced rates. Executive Members also receive a 2% annual reward (up to $750 beginning January 1, 2012) on most of their warehouse purchases. Executive Members pay an annual fee of $110.

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.

Toilet paper is the best-selling product at Costco and the chain is also the world's leading retailer of wine.

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

Craig Jelinek took over as CEO of Costco on January 2012 from founder James Sinegal who retired.

For fiscal 2012, Costco reported revenues of $102.87 billion, a 6% increase, and net income of $2.04 billion.

The Company plans to open up to an additional 11 new warehouses before the end of calendar year 2013.

History

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.

Benefits

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 October 11, 2013