Meta Opening First Retail Location To Sell VR Headsets
Tech giant Meta is going analog.
The parent company of Facebook is planning to open its first physical retail space on May 9 at the company's Reality Labs facility in Burlingame, California. The company will call it the Meta Store.
For now, the 1,550 SF store will be the company's only one, focusing on showing the public Meta hardware, especially its virtual reality headsets. The location will feature demo areas where the public can try Meta products, such as headsets, apps and games, and familiarize themselves with the concept of the metaverse.
At the store, customers will be able to buy the Quest 2 headset and Portal video chat devices, and Meta's Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses will be available to try on, though that device will be for sale online only.
“Once people experience the technology, they can gain a better appreciation for it. If we did our job right, people should leave and tell their friends," Meta Store Head Martin Gilliard said in a statement.
Gilliard added that having the store in Burlingame gives the company the opportunity to experiment yet be mindful of the customer experience as it develops new tech. Ultimately, the goal of the Meta Store is to show people what is possible and demystify the concept of the metaverse, he said.
The Meta Store is the latest move by the company to popularize the metaverse, a concept that it devoted billions to develop. Beginning in the summer of 2021, Facebook created a product team to work on the metaverse, which involves digital worlds that multiple people can use to interact.
Later that year, Facebook changed its name to Meta. At that time, the company was known to be planning brick-and-mortar operations.
Meta is hardly alone among tech companies operating consumer-facing real estate. Apple stores have long been prominent retail tenants, and Microsoft had nearly 100 physical stores before closing them in 2020. In June 2021, Google opened its first Google Store in New York City.