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Cost Plus celebrates 50th anniversary


OAKLAND, Calif. Cost Plus World Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month.

San Francisco businessman William Amthor opened the first Cost Plus World Market store in San Francisco on Oct. 23, 1958. He named the store after his pricing strategy, “cost plus 10%,” making it clear to the customer that the prices would be affordable. Cost Plus claim to fame was its eclectic mix of wordly goods. According to the company, it was the first to bring to market the Papasan Chair, the iconic symbol of 1960s counter-culture.


Cost Plus, which today operates nearly 300 stores, has seen its share of ups and downs, thanks to the struggling home market. Competitor Pier 1 looked to purchase Cost Plus, but was rejected.

In its second quarter results, Cost Plus showed signs of growth reporting that net sales were $221 million, a 5.6% increase from the $209.2 million for the second quarter ended Aug. 4, 2007. Same-store sales for the quarter increased 1.2%, driven by a 3.8% increase in customer count.

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