What you're asking about is profit driven, profit margin.
It's all about sound reproduction quality and what one can afford. Factory direct or at a Mom-n-Pop, brick-n-mortar store, it's all about what kind of quality can you afford and in the process, what compromises are you willing to make.
I buy a boatload of stuff online as I feel very comfortable buying online. I buy speaker wire, speakers and receivers online. I believe in online as brick-n-mortar retail fails me more often then it serves me.
Personally, I don't care how a company chooses to come to a price as for me, it's about the limited size of my wallet, not the profits of some unfeeling company who doesn't need to care if I'm in sickness or health.
The point, it's all about quality and the price of the deal as in the end, it all ends up in our living room being used to reproduce movies and reality shows; entertainment.