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Members show their support.

ISSAQUAH, Wash.--The strong loyalty of Costco's members is one of the company's strengths.

At the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2010, Costco disclosed that it had 56.4 million individual members, representing 31.1 million households.

Of those, 21.9 million were Gold Star members, up from 21.4 million at the fiscal year-end in August 2009. Another 5.75 million were primary business members (up from 5.7 million at fiscal year-end), and 3.4 million were business add-on members.

The 31.1 million households Costco counted as members at the end of its 2010 first quarter is an increase from 30.6 million at fiscal year-end. The 56.4 million individual members at the end of the first quarter is up from 56 million at fiscal year-end.

Costco's membership renewal rate is about 87%, the company says. For the United States and Canada, that breaks down as a 92% renewal rate among business members, 86% for its Gold Star members, and 87.3% for the company as a whole.

Membership fees totaled $377.4 million in the first quarter, up 5% in dollar terms from the prior-year period.

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Title Annotation:NEWS/RETAILER OF THE DECADE; Costco Wholesale Corp.
Publication:MMR
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Feb 8, 2010
Words:193
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