Costco Wholesale Corporation operates membership warehouses that offer a selection of branded and private label products in a range of merchandise categories in no-frills, self-service warehouse facilities. The company’s product categories include candy, snack foods, tobacco, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and cleaning and institutional supplies; appliances, electronics, health and beauty aids, hardware, office supplies, cameras, garden and patio, sporting goods, toys, seasonal items, and automotive supplies; dry and institutionally packaged foods; apparel, domestics, jewelry, house wares, media, home furnishings, and small appliances; meat, bakery, deli, and produce; and gas stations, pharmacy, food court, optical, one-hour photo, hearing aid, and travel. It also provides business and gold star (individual) membership services. As of October 4, 2012, the company operated 608 warehouses, including 439 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 82 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, 13 in Japan, 9 in Taiwan, 8 in Korea, and 3 in Australia. It is also involved in electronic commerce businesses through its Websites, costco.com in the United States and costco.ca in Canada. The company was formerly known as Costco Companies, Inc. and changed its name to Costco Wholesale Corporation in August 1999. Costco Wholesale Corporation was founded in 1976 and is based in Issaquah, Washington.