Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has recently announced the launch of its first brick-and-mortar retail store, the Meta Store. The store will offer a range of Meta’s physical products, including the Quest 2 virtual reality headset and Portal video calling device. In addition, it will provide demos of Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, developed in collaboration with Ray-Ban. Unlike the Apple Store, there will only be one Meta Store located at the company’s campus in Burlingame, California, and it will be Meta’s first attempt to sell its physical products directly to consumers in person.
The Meta Store is set to open on May 9, 2022, and will aim to familiarize customers with Meta’s “metaverse” plans, which envision an immersive version of the internet. In 2021, Meta invested billions of dollars in Facebook Reality Labs to develop its vision of the metaverse. The store will also feature a VR space that allows customers to try various apps, such as Beat Saber and Real VR Fishing, projected on an enormous curved LED screen.
The opening of the Meta Store marks Meta’s entry into a market that is already occupied by other big tech companies such as Google and Apple. While Google has already opened its physical store in New York, Apple has been successful in making its stores a core part of its business for years. Microsoft has also reconfigured some of its stores as “experience centers” and resumed selling products in them in 2021, after shuttering its 83 stores in 2020.
The move to establish a retail store for Meta’s hardware is an effort to bring its products closer to consumers. Meta’s Store Head, Martin Gilliard, stated in a blog post that the Meta Store will help people understand how their products can be the gateway to the metaverse in the future. Furthermore, the store’s location on Meta’s corporate grounds will give Meta employees more opportunities to experiment and develop the customer experience further.
In conclusion, the launch of the Meta Store marks Meta’s entry into the physical retail market, an area that has been dominated by big tech companies such as Apple for years. The store will offer demos of Meta’s virtual reality headsets and other hardware and will aim to familiarize customers with Meta’s vision of the metaverse. The opening of the store is part of Meta’s strategy to bring its products closer to consumers and experiment with the customer experience. While it is not yet clear whether Meta plans to open more stores beyond Burlingame, the Meta Store’s success may encourage the company to expand its retail operations in the future.