I see this point and I like Tex Gal's response to it. Most stores probably don't understand how to push the "planted" side of the hobby. If they were able to really understand it and see the market potential, maybe that would change. Seems to me that hobby groups could have an impact here. For one person to go into a store and tout the praises of planted aquaia is one thing, but for an organization/club to go in and show the store owners the potential and some real "how-to" on making their displays look good, that might be enough to push the planted hobby forward more.I blame the industry itself. There is more money to be made in SW than freshwater so that's where stores try to push you. Every fish store you go into has a huge SW display. How many stores do you see with a nice planted display. NONE in my area. If they do sell plants it's in a small aquarium with inadaquate lighting, so why would a customer spend as much money on something that doesn't look as nice.
Follow the money, there's more money to be made from SW then planted.
Look at the equipment that's currently available. Every year we see new and more powerful filters, better heaters, light fixtures, bulbs specifically geared toward planted tank, fertilization supplements, CO2 equipment...the tools are there...what stores lack is the know-how of setting up the sales area for planted tanks and how to incorporate the right equipment.
(Not to brag, but we actually have a store in Houston (Pearland) that is getting set up right now to cater to planted tank enthusiasts on a level that should equal the attention given to Salt Water!! )