ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- In its 2002 annual report, Costco Wholesale here vowed to become the low-cost provider of merchandise and services in 37 states and in its markets abroad. That has been Costco's mantra from the beginning, said Richard Galanti, executive vice president and chief financial officer. Like other everyday-low-price competitors profiled in this issue of SN, Costco achieves its low prices through smart volume buys, material-handling logistics, limited assortment, packaging and ...

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