We need to consider how photography itself is changing. I don't have figures but I bet compact sales to casual users far outweighs enthusiast's equipment in terms of contributing to a shop's profits. The trouble is, those compact users are increasingly using their phones rather than carry a camera about. They rarely print and don't tend to spend much on accessories, depriving shops of a handy source of revenue. I doubt a shop could be financially viable relying only upon high end equipment sales, regardless of competition from the internet. I may be wrong and maybe someone in the industry has a more accurate view, but it seems to me that this might be the core of the problem. If true, I can foresee them all dissapearing and internet retailers using the large supermarkets as a collection point and place to get hands-on etc. I think another poster also suggested similar.