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Costco Wholesale Company History Timeline

1976

Costco's history began with Sol Price and his son, Robert, opening the first Price Club warehouse on July 12, 1976, on Morena Boulevard in San Diego, California, thus giving birth to a new concept a retail warehouse club.

Dubbed buyers clubs and begun in 1976, these warehouses were wholesalers that required shoppers to become members and pay an annual membership fee.

1980

By 1980 Price Club was operating four stores in California and Arizona and was generating 150 million in annual sales.

1985

By 1985 profits had grown to 45 million on sales of 1.9 billion.

1986

In 1986 Price Club purchased A.M. Lewis, a grocery distributor serving Southern California and Arizona.

In 1986 Sol Price was sued by his son, Laurence, for attempting to buy out the tire-service business, then valued at 5 million.

1987

Other companies pursued less costly and more aggressive expansion programs and, by 1987, Price Club had been passed by both Costco and Sam's.

1988

In 1988 it opened two Price Club Furnishings outlets, which served as home and office furnishings stores based on the Price Club warehouse concept.

Although both sales and earnings had grown steadily each year, in 1988 Sol Price resigned as head of the company, and was replaced by Robert Price.

1990

In 1990, Price bought out Steinberg's share of the Montreal store and expansion continued in numerous markets including California, Colorado, and British Columbia.

In the fall of 1990 Costco opened its first two units in the Northeast, both in Massachusetts.

1991

In March 1991 the company completed a public offering of 3.45 million shares of common stocks.

In 1991 a third Massachusetts location opened.

1992

During the 1992 fiscal year, Costco planned to open 18 new warehouses.

1993

In 1993, Costco and Price Club agreed to merge operations themselves after Price declined an offer from Sam Walton and Walmart to merge Price Club with their warehouse store chain, Sam's Club.

1994

Although the merged PriceCostco made tremendous annual revenue than the individual parent companies, Price founder Sol left the company and established Price Enterprises as an independent unit in 1994.

PriceCostco was initially led by executives from both companies, but in 1994, the Price brothers left the company to form Price Enterprises, a warehouse club chain in Central America and the Caribbean unrelated to the current Costco.

1998

1998 The Costco.com Web site is launched.

1999

In August 1999, the company reincorporated and changed its name to Costco Wholesale Corporation.

Branch, Shelly, Inside the Cult of Costco, Fortune, September 6, 1999.

In 1999, Costco s individual warehouses were pulling in an average of 91 million per year.

In 1999, roughly 12 percent of Costco s products were released marked with the Kirkland name.

2000

Business members numbering 4.1 million in 2000 can also buy goods for private use, and the membership includes a spouse card.

2001

Gasoline wars are becoming more frequent as a result of the growing share of these big competitors, Holly Tuminello, Vice-President of the Petroleum Marketers Association of American PMAA told Reuters in July 2001.

With a bull run of over six years straight of profit-earning increases, Costco experienced an unexpected decline in earnings in the first half of 2001.

Although Costco's value decreased slightly during 2001, the company grew significantly in the last 10 years.

2002

desjardins, doug. costco charts growth plan for fy 2002. dsn retailing today, 11 february 2002.

Stocks traded at the beginning of March 2002 for 39 a share, nearly in the middle of the 52-week high of 46 and low of 29.

Costco Home opened in Kirkland, WA in December 2002.

In 2002 Costco announced the introduction of a new cash card program.

2004

Costco opened second Home store in Tempe, AZ in October 2004.

2005

Costco.ca equivalent of Costco.com in the United States is launched for Canadian members in February 2005.

Rapid expansion plans called for Costco to nearly double in size by 2005.

2006

Costco opened it's first car wash facility at Seattle, WA on April 26, 2006.

2010

In 2010, considering the Animal Welfare policy and to comply with the law, the company adopted the policy to avoid buying veal from retailers using crate-and-chain production method.

2011

Costco Australia expands nationally with the opening of two warehouses Costco Auburn, in Sydney's West, opened 21 July, 2011.Costco Canberra, opened 22 July, 2011.

2012

For the fiscal year ending on August 31, 2012, the company's sales totaled 97.062 billion, with 1.709 billion net profit.

2013

From December 2013, Costco's board of directors was chaired by co-founder Jeffrey H. Brotman and included James Sinegal, co-founder and director, and two officers of the company president CEO W. Craig Jelinek and CFO Richard A. Galanti.

2014

With less than 2 million employees on its roll, Costco made it to the list of Fortune - 2014 list of Top Revenue Generating Companies.

In 2014, Costco was the third largest retailer in the United States.

2016

In 2016, Costco had 86.7 million members.

2017

On August 1, 2017, Jeffrey Brotman died.

As of August 2017, James Sinegal and W. Craig Jelinek remain on the board.

2018

Jim Sinegal stepped down in 2018.

2019

In 2019, Costco had 98.5 million members.

As of 2019, Costco is ranked 14 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

Founded
1976
Company Founded
Headquarters
Issaquah, WA
Company Headquarter
Founders
James Sinegal,Jeffrey Brotman
Company Founders

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