I was told this was happening here in the UK last year while buying a tripod and we were talking about it again in the same shop last month.

However the whole retail market is changing, my local retail store Jessops is a branch of the UK's over dominant chain and their stock of films etc is poor they do carry a small supply of darkroom materials but that'll change again, they don't even cary decent inkjet papers either. The branch in the nearby city is 100% Digital and more like an electrical store, luckily theres two other more conventional store there as well.

It's the online suppliers who are becoming our source for materials.

Ian