I liked this article from Zacks Investment Research on Costco and their performance in 2011.
Costco Wholesale Corporation ( COST ) has battled through a tough economy and exited 2011 boldly. The U.S. economy has been reeling under the ongoing financial crisis, whose rippling effects gradually engulfed the global market. Amid this turbulent environment, Costco has almost been able to overcome the hurdles keeping an upbeat note, and we believe it to continue with its momentum in 2012.
Costco continues to be a dominant retail wholesaler based on the breadth and quality of merchandise it offers. The company’s strategy to sell products at heavily-discounted prices has helped it to remain on a positive growth track amid the beleaguered economic conditions, as cash-strapped customers continue to see it as a viable option for low-cost necessities.