poor and low-income consumers, poverty industry, poverty premium, discount retailers, windfall spending


Compared to affluent consumers, the consumption practices of poor and low-income consumers have received less attention in the global North, where they have been marginalized as flawed. This paper hopes to address this neglect by providing an exploratory profile of poor and low-income consumers in the United States. It will challenge that these consumers are flawed by explaining how they participate in consumer society via exploitative inclusion and empowered inclusion. It concludes by suggesting ways that less-affluent consumers can experience expanded empowerment.

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