The Great Recession of 2008 changed the buying habits of many people that suddenly became bargain hunters and had to get accustomed to a lower standard of living.
When the recession was over a hysteresis effect (memory in consumers’ habits) kept a good part of them from getting back to their former spending behavior, leading the retailers to a constant price war.
See video: https://youtu.be/-az_rFomK60
To stay afloat in business some companies innovate their business models to count on the huge number of potential buyers at the bottom of the pyramid, where low income population and the new ex-middle class where found during and after the years the recession last.
One of the biggest business trends of the last decade had started: Discounting
MetroPCS and Leap Wireless had captured 90% of the pre-paid phone cards market.
Dollar General Corp. is a national chain of discount convenience stores present in all towns in U.S. too small for Wal-Mart outlets. DG stock is up more than 200% over the past decade.