THE HISTORY OF COSTCO
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, CA, U.S.A. originally serving only small businesses; the company found it could achieve far greater buying clout by also serving a selected audience of non-business members. With that change, the growth of the warehouse club industry was off and running. In 1983, the first Costco warehouse location was opened in Seattle, WA, U.S.A. Costco became the first company ever to grow from zero to $3 billion in sales in less than six years.
When Costco and Price Club merged in 1993, the combined company, operating under the name PriceCostco, had 206 locations generating $16 billion in annual sales. Our operating philosophy is simple. Keep costs down and pass the savings on to our members. Our large membership base and tremendous buying power, combined with our never-ending quest for efficiency, result in the best possible prices for our members. Since resuming the Costco in 1997, the company has grown to more than 700 locations worldwide.
Costco Japan’s first location opened in 1999 in Hisayama. We are now operating 26 warehouses in Japan: two in Fukuoka (Hisayama, Kitakyushu), two in Chiba (Makuhari, Inzai), one in Machida City (Tamasakai), two in Hyogo (Amagasaki and Kobe), one in Sapporo (Sapporo), two in Saitama (Iruma and Shinmisato) and one in Gunma (Maebashi), one in Kyoto (Kyoto Yawata), three in Kanagawa (Kawasaki, Kanazawa Seaside and Zama), one in Hiroshima (Hiroshima), two in Ibaraki (Tsukuba, Hitachinaka), one in Aichi (Chubu Airport), one in Osaka (Izumi), one in Yamagata (Kaminoyama), one in Ishikawa (Nonoichi), one in Toyama (Imizu), one in Gifu(Gifu Hashima), one in Miyagi(Tomiya), and one in Shizuoka(Hamamatsu).