Cut-rate retailers have existed for a long time. However, since the end of World War II, the growth of discount houses as a legitimate and extremely competitive retailer has assured this type of outlet a permanent place among retail institutions. It essentially followed the growth of the suburbs.
Discount houses are characterized by an emphasis on price as their main sales appeal. Merchandise assortments are generally broad including both hard and soft goods, but assortments are typically limited to the most popular items, colors, and sizes. Such stores are usually large, self-service operations with long hours, free parking, and relatively simple fixtures.