I recently noticed we lost another tackle shop this year. Victoria Tackle was the kind of store we're all familiar with. It's proximity to water made it an ideal place to pick up some minnows but it's distance from big[ish] cities made it inconvenient for anything else.
Victoria is located in the middle of some serious strip pit ground and a stone's throw from a favorite state park, a quick googling drives this point home. Another quick googling pegs the drive time from the only big city at about an hour. Translation: these lakes are within driving distance for a day trip, but a special trip to the tackle shop isn't worth the gas.
I willfully admit contributing to the failure. I've purchased much bait at Victoria Tackle over the years and that is about it (I once bought a bobber too). Victoria is 45 minutes from the house, but within 15 minutes I could be at one of three major outdoors stores. Only one of those stores sells minnows and we'll all be in trouble if it goes under.
Maybe I'm on to something here....I just registered www.mail-order-minnows.com.