From Our Editors
The company's first location, opened in 1976 under the Price Club name, was in a converted airplane hangar on Morena Boulevard in San Diego. The company found it could achieve far greater buying power by serving small businesses and a select audience of non-business members. With that, the growth of the warehouse club industry was off and running. In 1983, the first Costco warehouse location opened in Seattle. Since resuming the Costco name in 1997, the company has grown worldwide.
Its operating philosophy has remained simple: Keep costs down and pass the savings to members. Its large membership base and tremendous buying power, combined with its never-ending quest for efficiency, result in the lowest possible prices for 97 million Costco members.