I work in a high street photographic lab in Exeter, and have perviously worked in a variety of labs. I am also a keen film user, so have experience from both sides of selling film, and buying film.
It has become a lot harder to get cheap film in the past few years, when i was a student at Falmouth I would order a few hundred pounds worth of film at the start of the year, from a huge selection at 7 day shop, I had at least four different manufacturers to choose from, and it was cheap! But, buying from 7 day shop, whilst beneficial to me, was probably a bit damaging to the UK film suppliers as they had the advantage of not having to charge VAT on film. If your prices are automatically at least 17.5% (as it was then) lower, you have an unfair advantage over the rest of the market.
I would also buy film locally, either from the lab I was working in at the time (Klick’s film was Konica VX, an excellent and very consistant colour neg film that was very easy to print), and it was cheap, the quantities that Klick would order it in from Konica enabled a very low unit price. Another local shop offered an excellent selection of professional films at excellent prices where I would go to buy more film as required throughout the year, along with paper and other supplies.
Film has suffered from a lack of demand, increased material costs, and increased production costs, I doubt that anybody is selling the volume of film that they were ten years ago. As a retailer film is expensive to buy, and prices seem to keep increasing.
A lot of heavy film users have switched to digital, wedding and comercial photographers are no longer shooting 20 rolls+ a week, and I doubt that any of them will go back to film in the volume that they used to use. This is obviously going to have a huge effect on the amount of film being used, as it was this kind of heavy use that kept the film market alive.
As film use becomes more specialist, it makes sense that companies are rationalising their product lines, we have already seen some fantastic emulsions disappear, and it is likely that more will follow. However some of them have been replaced by new emulsions, that are proving excellent to work with.
Another problem is that the processes used to develop film require a high throughput to keep the chemicals and machines working properly, especially E6, it is a lot harder to keep an E6 processing line working processing a few rolls a week, then it is processing hundreds a week, and also a lot less commercially viable. The equipment takes up a lot of space, and requires specialist knowledge to maintain. This has led to a lot of places having to close down some of their processing facilities. Fortunately, there are still some excellent labs offering processing, and as they pick up business where others have closed, hopefully they will be able to continue to do so.
Fortunately demand for film is still at a level where it is commercially viable to sell and process film, and whilst it will probably never reach the levels it was at a few years ago, as long as there is enough demand, there will be people who continue to offer film and processing services.