Issaquah’s Costco gets close-up on ‘Good Morning America’

Already no stranger to the homes of most Americans, Issaquah’s Costco Wholesale Inc. was featured prominently on national television earlier this week.

ABC’s “Good Morning America” broadcast a five-minute segment during a March 29 broadcast from the company’s Westbury, New York store as part of its new series to dig into the “secrets of America’s favorite stores”.

Correspondent Bianna Golodryga conducted taped interviews with Costco Senior VP Jeff Long and others for the show, which reviewed the secrets of success for that has helped Costco become the largest wholesale buying club in the United States.

Costco’s membership is largely made up of middle- and upper-middle class families and small business owners who pay $50 to $100 for annual memberships. So far this year, Costco has reported $386 million in revenues from membership fees alone, according to the report. Loyal customers are willing to pay those fees because of the heavy discounts they enjoy once they walk through the door: Costco never charges more than 14% above cost for any item.

The company is also the ninth largest retailer in the world and in 2009 its annual revenue was more than $70 billion, topping both Target and Home Depot.

Costco currently operates 566 warehouses, including 413 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 77 in Canada, 21 in the United Kingdom, seven in Korea, six in Taiwan, nine in Japan, 32 in Mexico and one in Australia. The company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce Web site.