None of the hardware stores local to me sell high quality fasteners except for their non-chrome, non-stainless Grade-8 SAE or Grade 10.9 Metric, and I have lots and lots of places to choose from.
If I want high quality I have to go either Grainger or McMaster-Carr, and we're back to catalog again. So few people, relatively speaking, need this kind of hardware that it's difficult to justify speculatively distributing it around the country. It makes more sense to make enough to keep stocked in one or a few places, and to distribute it as ordered. Sure, it's annoying if you need a Stainless Grade 10.9 M10x1.25 10mm bolt, but most of the applications calling for this are also professional productions, not hobbyist or repair work, and the manufacturers or designers will order in batches to keep on-hand what they'll need for the development or manufacturing work, and reorder when they get low.
I've been surprised, in a good way, by Ace Hardware actually. Ace stores are franchises, and one franchise owner may only own a few stores, and their stores might not be close to each other. I have five Ace Hardware stores within ten miles of home, and only two of those are owned by the same franchise. They get to make choices for what they stock, and I know that this store may be better for fasteners and that store may be better for copper tubing and parts, and this other store may be best for PVC and black pipe and the like...
Heck, one of them has stocked HVAC-rated copper tubing in sizes over 1/4"ID, while most only sell lighter-wall in those sizes. This is handy for compressed air for the shop.