I think you've hit the nail right on the head. If you are an authorised reseller then you must sell at Apple / Canons / Oakleys blah blah blah prices.
Independents may be able to compete in terms of discounts on add ons, such as cases (where there is considerable mark up) or clubcard points if you are tesco.
It's all about perceived brand value. And why the companies had a clause that Jessops return their stock rather than see a fire sale.
Canon may open up the CPS scheme as an added value incentive, or have training events, talks etc.
Unfortunately my experience of Apple Stores is that they've never opened up a mac pro, and all they want to do is get you on to the latest OS.
Yes! I'm still on good old Leopard :] I think Apple make their stores work finically by having a minimal amount in only major cities, which seems to be what Canon is planning with it's stores but I think another problem Canon stores will have is their product lifecycle: an L lens will outlast the buyer if treated well. Apple get by on the fact that alot of users update their products every few years. [except the MacBooks and iMacs, even though you'd be hard pressed to fix one nowadays with them glueing everything in place ]