Costco UK trading director Steve Barnett passes away

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Steve Barnett (Photo: FWD)

Steve Barnett, trading director at Costco Wholesale UK, has passed away.

Barnett was part of the nine-member team who set up Costco in the UK, and played an instrumental role in firmly establishing the business in the subsequent years.

A highly respected figure in the wholesale sector, he also served in the council of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) as Costco representative.

Condoling his death, James Bielby, FWD chief executive, said Barnett made “massive contribution to both Costco and the wholesale sector’s development.”

“Everyone at FWD is devastated to hear of the loss of Steve Barnett, our colleague and friend at Costco,” Bielby said in a statement.

“He was loved by all his colleagues at Costco and supportive of all who worked with him over the years. Suppliers who dealt with Steve knew him as the toughest of negotiators but one who was held in the highest respect, with his dry sense of humour and sense of decency apparent to all.”

Barnett joined Costco in 1993 as its first buyer for ‘softlines’. He has been serving the firm as trading director for the past 15 years. Prior to Costco, he worked at department store chains TJ Hughes and Bentalls.

Barnett is survived by his wife Annette and children Jessica and Izzie.