NR is reporting an email was sent to customers of Grays of Westminster:
"As a uniquely Nikon-only shop, Grays of Westminster is the perfect destination for your Nikon needs. Now, as well as a full range of bodies and accessories, we are pleased to announce that we unexpectedly have in stock a very small number of the following sought-after, rarely available lenses:
AF-S 300mm f/2.8G VR IF-ED (available while stocks last at the special price of £3,299) – RRP after March 1st is £4,999
AF-S 400mm f/2.8G VR IF-ED (available while stocks last at the special price of £5,749) – RRP after March 1st is £8,199
AF-S 200mm f/2G VR IF-ED (available at the old price of £2,949) – RRP after March 1st is £3,849 …
This is certainly an excellent time to make purchases of Nikon cameras, lenses and accessories from Grays of Westminster. Due to the sterling/yen differential, an increase of price will occur with all Nikon kit on the first of March, 2009. However, we are able to offer our range of Nikon bodies, lenses and accessories all at very favourable prices at this precise moment, so there is not a better moment to buy the kit you have always desired than now."
Grays of Westminster is a reputable shop, one I have dealt with in the past when I lived in the UK, so assuming this email is real I would also assume the price hike is real.
Also note, they state RRP (Recommended Retail Price), so that does not mean they will be selling at that price (virtually all retailers have to discount to make sales), so the price hike may not be as bad as it looks above.
As we reported elsewhere (see Sony Price Increases) importers in the UK are facing cost increases of up to 35% on landed electronic goods based on exchange rates, and they are predicting that prices may increase up to 50% by summer in the UK, a currency that has been hit particularly hard in recent months. The dollar is faring better against the Yen (at least compared to Pounds Sterling), hopefully prices in the US will now remain stable.
Source: NR on 2/14/2009.