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Costco - The history

On Sept. 15, 1983, James Sinegal and Jeffrey H. Brotman opened Costco first warehouse in Seattle, Washington. Sinegal had started in wholesale distribution by working for Sol Price at FedMart and Brotman, an attorney from an old Seattle retailing family, had been involved in retail distribution from an early age. He started his retail involvement as a grocery bagger.

Costco and Price Club agreed to merge operations in 1993. Costco's business model and size were related to those of Price Club, which made the alliance more natural for both companies. The merged company took the name PriceCostco, and memberships became universal. PriceCostco boasted 206 locations were generating $16 billion in annual sales. Executives from both companies initially led PriceCostco, but then the Price brothers soon left the partnership in 1994 to form Price Enterprises, a warehouse club chain in Central America and the Caribbean unrelated to the current Costco.

In 1997, the company modified its name to Costco Wholesale Corporation, and all remaining Price Club locations were renamed as Costco.

Costco was the first business to grow from zero to $3 billion in sales in under six years. For the fiscal year ending on August 31, 2012, the company's sales equaled $97.062 billion, with $1.709 billion net profit. Costco was 18th on the 2015 Fortune 500. In 2014, the ACSI named Costco number one in the specialty retail store industry with a score of 84.