I think the problem is Garrett Wade did too good a job. Ten or more years ago,
they were the only game in town. You could only go there for Japanese Tools
(except for I think Hida Tools or the Japan Woodworker).
Their catalog was a collection of great photos with great features, and was
well worth the $4 they charged.
Tom Lie Nielsen was their tool buyer. Well, you know where he wound up. SO you
can buy great hand tools all over the world now, either by mail or internet;
Woodcrafts are springing up, Woodworkers Warehouse brings basic tools to the
masses that Sears used to serve, Highland's Catalog is as informative as
Garrett Wade's used to be, plus they hold classes, Lee Valley gave us Veritas.
All because of Garrett Wade I think, so to stay competitive in a touogh world,
they probably had to try to become the next Hammacher Schlemmer.