Deaths elsewhere

December 16, 2009|By Los Angeles Times

SOL PRICE, 93

Price Club founder

Sol Price, who changed the retail industry by founding the pioneering warehouse chain Price Club, died of old age Monday at his home in the San Diego community of La Jolla, according his family.

Mr. Price invented the discount membership warehouse club concept in 1976 when he and his son opened the first Price Club in San Diego. His idea was to offer a relatively small selection of goods but to sell in bulk at a discount. To do that, overhead was cut to the bone and merchandise was sold at no-frills warehouses without any paid advertising.

The successful chain led him to become one of the wealthiest men in California.

In 1993, Mr. Price agreed to merge Price Co. with Costco, forming a $14 billion-a-year company that would become a leader in the warehouse retailing market.

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