Key Development: Fending off increased competition, introducing new products. What's Next: Leading the chain through ambitious growth plans. Competitive pressure from Wal-Mart is no worse than it's ever been, according to Jim Sinegal. "Wal-Mart is a very formidable competitor," said Sinegal, Costco's down-to-earth chief executive officer. "We respect them and we compete with them in virtually every market in which we do business. The only country where we don't compete with them is Japan. ...

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