I think it is super important to guard the name of our font as associated with the retail build. Fonts get around, even those that are not top sellers, and we want to make certain that there is no misunderstanding about what the retail version is.
I'm sure there are some clients who will be really annoyed by having to change some layouts once but they are not the majority and, even if they were, they aren't being reasonable. The clients who commission a modification to our fonts are often among the most high profile users of that given font. The risk to the font brand if the retail build brand gets diluted is a far bigger deal than the inconvenience of a little work at the front end for the client. Such damage to the brand can't be repaired.
we've seen a decrease in the same period (not as big but still noticeable). I had thought it was because our biggest seller has been around a while and was losing steam but perhaps it's simply industry wide? Are other indie foundries seeing the same?