Wholesalers Costco UK has confirmed that its trading director and one of the original members of its set up team, Steve Barnett, has died as a result of Covid-19. 

Barnett was part of the team that helped launch Costco UK in 1993 and held his position as trading director for more than 15 years.

In a statement, Costco UK said: “The impact that Steve has had on Costco UK can not be measured, the buying team’s ethics, drive and success are as a result of Steve’s leadership.

“Steve’s fundamental belief in Costco’s Ethics and the impact on the welfare of Costco employees and vendors was the focus of his every instruction and continuing development of a sustainable buying programme was his passion.  It is all about the people and Costco’s ethics is how he started many presentations to employees, vendors and conferences and his actions showed this was true every day.

“The impact that Steve has had on Costco UK can not be measured, the buying team’s ethics, drive and success are as a result of Steve’s leadership.”

“Steve was born in London a true cockney as he states he could hear the sound of bow bells when he was born, given that Steve had a wicked sense of humour it was probably true.    In his late teens and early 20s Steve was an accomplished horse trainer and competitor within the world of show jumping, he was an avid reader who adored history Steve’s passion and love was all about family there was nothing more important to him.

“Steve was a businessman, a tremendous leader and a very good friend to many at Costco, his presence and personality will be missed at every level within the company here in the UK and across the international Costco team.

“Our thoughts are with Steve’s family, especially his wife Annette, and his children Jessica and Izzie.”