Type Public (NASDAQ: COST) Founded 1983, Costco, Seattle, Washington Headquarters Issaquah, Washington Key people Jim Sinegal, Founder & CEO Jeffrey Brotman, Founder & Chairman Richard Galanti, CFO Dick DiCerchio, COO Industry Retail (Warehouse Club) Products Retail (Specialty) Private Label - Kirkland Signature Revenue $64.4 billion USD (2007) Employees 132,000 Wholesale Club History - From Price Club to Costco In the mid-1970s, small business owners had no options other than to buy their products and supplies from regional wholesalers or cash-and-carry operations. Sol Price set out to offer an alternative. In 1976, with $800,000 of his own, $1 million raised among local California small business owners, and an additional $500,000 from former FedMart employees, Price, along with his son Robert, formed the Price Company and opened the first Price Club store in San Diego. Price's other son, Laurence, declined to join the new company.
Price Club represented a revolution in retailing. Its concept was simple: it would offer a small selection of products covering a broad range of goods and sell in bulk in order to keep prices low, usually at no more than a 10 percent markup over the wholesale cost. To maintain such discount prices, overhead was kept to a bare minimum. Products were stocked directly on the selling floor in minimally decorated warehouses built on cheap industrial land, sales help was almost nonexistent, and there was no advertising, except to announce the opening of new stores. Selection was limited, offering the broad range, but not the depth and