Price Club

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Price Club
FoundedJuly 12, 1976; 47 years ago (1976-07-12)
San Diego, California, U.S.
FounderSol Price
Defunct1997; 26 years ago (1997)
FateMerged with Costco
United States
Number of locations
94 warehouses (1993)
Area served
North America

Price Club was an American warehouse club chain. It merged with competitor Costco Wholesale in 1993. The original Price Club warehouse is still open, operating as Costco location #401.[1]

Sol Price founded Price Club in 1975 after he was forced out of FedMart, another retail chain he had founded. He and several friends invested $2.5 million. The first Price Club opened on July 12, 1976,[2] in San Diego, California, at the former site of a manufacturing building previously owned by Howard Hughes.[3][4]

The original Price Club location pictured in 2018 under the Costco branding

Club membership was initially only available to business customers, but was later opened to certain groups, such as employees of local businesses, nonprofits, and government.[1] The company charged shoppers a $25 annual membership fee to purchase bulk products at discount prices in a no-frills warehouse setting. Price Club's high sales volume enabled Sol Price to give his employees more benefits and higher wages than typical retailers. The company expanded to 94 locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico (joint venture with Controladora Comercial Mexicana). In 1992, Price Club generated $6.6 billion in revenue and $134.1 million in profit.[5]

Price Club merged with rival Costco in 1993[6][7] and the combined company was known as PriceCostco. Price Club and Costco initially continued to operate as separate chains, with members of either chain being able to shop at both stores with their membership cards. In 1997, PriceCostco became Costco Wholesale Corporation and all remaining Price Clubs were rebranded as Costco.


  1. ^ a b Muir, Frederick M. (March 11, 1985). "Price Co. Ties Its Success to Low Prices : 9-Year-Old Retailing Giant Nearly Doubled Earnings Each Year". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 21, 2018.
  2. ^ Markowitz, Arthur (August 22, 1988). "Discounting Hall of Fame: Sol Price: his deeds speak louder than words - founder of Price Club". Discount Store News. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  3. ^ Coriolis Research Ltd. (June 2004). "Understanding Costco" (PDF). Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  4. ^ The Costco Connection (January 2012). "The empire built on values". Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  5. ^ Eisner, Peter (December 15, 2009). "Price Club changed America's shopping experience". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
  6. ^ White, George & Kraul, Chris (June 17, 1993). "Price Co., Costco Warehouse Stores to Merge". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ Bryant, Adam (June 17, 1993). "Costco Set To Merge With Price". New York Times.