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I would hope from my above examples that you can agree that perhaps something *has* changed.
I don't know if it is the search cost. I would not buy off-brand detergent or soup because I don't know what the quality would be. Would you rather put Duracell in your medical device or some no name Chinese battery?
It may be the general decline of the middle class. Stagnant incomes, dim prospects, anxiety about the future etc making shopers pinch pennies.
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