Some Verizon Stores are independently owned. They have little to do with VZ online. Cellular Plus is the name of our local store & is painted just like Verizon Stores. Calling the toll free number for Customer Service, I waited 49 minutes on hold. Advantage of using a local store to get new phone,upgrade, etc., is you can walk in & get help. They can find everything online. The online help kept telling me that what I see on my account page is totally different from what they see. I ordered directly from Apple this time & activated phone online in on My Verizon.
Store price is not always higher. Plus even though VZ says overnight shipping, phone goes through several departments including fraud Dept. to be sure it's an authorized purchase. I got a 5s phone last year from online VZ. When it arrived, it got extremely hot right after activation. Too hot to touch. They told me to send it back & they would replace it. They charged my acct. a $35 restocking fee for a bad phone. I'll never go through VZ online again. Going through Apple was so easy!