Costco to Open in Australia

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Bellevue, Wash. Costco plans to open its first store in Australia in 2009.

At its annual shareholders meeting in Bellevue, Wash., on Jan. 29, Costco chairman of the board Jeffrey Brotman said the company plans to “open in Australia sometime next year,” when asked about the chain’s plans for international expansion.

Costco executive VP and CFO Richard Galanti later confirmed that Costco is searching for sites in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

During his presentation, CEO Jim Sinegal said Costco increased the number of stores powered by solar energy to 13 and that the company is considering solar panels for 25 more locations.

Sinegal also confirmed the 531-store chain plans to open 29 new locations this year and estimates Costco could eventually open 1,025 stores worldwide with more than 700 warehouses in the United States.

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