In Memorium: Entrepreneurs Who Died in 2009

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Sol Price, Founder of the Price Club

One of the inventors of the concept of a members-only discount warehouse, Price initially targeted small business owners in search of supplies. The positioning was too narrow and Price suffered a $750,000 loss in the store’s first year. Business improved once he opened membership to the general public. Price’s philosophy was a no frills approach to supplying consumers: his selections were slimmer than those of other stores, he wouldn’t take credit card payments, and many of his stores were in out of the way locations to save on real estate. By 1993, when Price Club merged with Costco, the chain had $6 billion in annual revenue from a mere 94 stores across North America.