ISSAQUAH, Wash. - Costco Wholesale here experienced inflated prices and costs associated with fresh meat during its fiscal first quarter, but swallowed the increase rather than pass it on to shoppers, company officials said yesterday. Those increases, accompanied by dropping prices for electronic items, caused an overall margin decrease of 2 basis points, to 10.56% of sales, for the 12-week quarter ending Nov. 26. However, larger shopping baskets and increased shopping frequency boosted ...

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