Try this experiment: Look around your town and think back to what it looked like 10 years ago. Chances are, the stores that line the streets or anchor the malls are different. Circuit City, Linens-n-Things and Radio Shack are all gone. In their place are names like Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth and Zara. It’s a physical representation of how the consumer has changed over the last decade. The financial crisis of 2008 left an indelible mark on consumer behaviors that still affect how Americans spend today. “Cheap was in,” recalled Larry Meyer, who worked as chief financial officer at discount retailer at Forever 21 at the time. “We were all shocked. I stopped doing real estate deals, … but it wasn’t bad for everyone if you had the resources to take advantage of it. But even the luxury guys had trouble.”The collision of the millennial generation beginning to enter its earning years and the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression created a shopping base markedly different from its predecessors. Some of those changes were indirect — millennials had a hard time finding a job, thus delaying their entrance into adulthood and changing their shopping patterns. Read more at CNBC.