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Price Club was a warehouse store chain, founded by Sol Price in San Diego, California. Price devised the Price Club concept in 1975 after being forced out of FedMart, another retail chain he founded. Price and a few of his friends put up $2.5 million in capital to open the first Price Club on July 12, 1976 at 4605 Morena Boulevard, San Diego, the former site of a manufacturing building Howard Hughes once owned,Price Club would eventually merge with one of its competitors, Costco Wholesale, and the combined company would eventually take on the Costco name. The original warehouse that Sol Price started Price Club with is still open, operating as Costco location #401.
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. 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 Price to give his employees more benefits and higher wages than typical retailers. The company expanded throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. In 1992, Price Club earned $134.1 million on $6.6 billion in revenue from 94 locations.Price Club merged with rival Costco in 1993 and the combined company was known as PriceCostco. For a brief period, Price Club and Costco continued to operate as two separate stores with members of either chain being able to shop at both stores with their membership cards. In 1997, PriceCostco became Costco Wholesale Corporation and the remaining Price Clubs were rebranded as Costco.