Yea, Photo Shop can do all kinds of things you used to do in a darkroom, and even some things you would be hard pressed to do in a darkroom.
If the camera is the same make and model, I don’t see how (or why) the assembly line would do a cheep part run for store A, and a quality part run for store B. If the model numbers are different, then it could be possible.
I hear the same argument about Dell computers, ie; they are made with lower quality parts. My Dell laptop provided me with reliable service for many years, so many years that the OS was obsolete long before the thing went TU. My employer provided laptops have all been Dells. If they are full of junk parts, then the junk works well enough for what I need. Why would a camera be different, especially if it comes with some kind of warranty or protection plan. If it fails, it gets fixed/replaced. And if it does the job you want, then its good enough. Admittedly a consumer quality (and priced) camera will not be the same as a professional quality (and priced) camera.
I bought a Fugi Film S5000 camera Back in 02 or 03. It was not top of the line when I bought it, and its now technically obsolete, since it won’t play nice with winders tin. But it still does the job I need it to. If the camera fits your needs, then that is what counts. Not what someone who isn’t you tells you you need because they say so.