The global tech giant, Meta, is opening its first Meta Store on May 9 in Burlingame, California, to showcase its hardware products, such as the Quest 2 virtual reality glasses.
The company aims to enable potential customers to interact and try out its notable products, including the Oculus devices, the Portal video calling hub, and the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses.
However, this is not the first time a tech firm is venturing into the physical store space. There have been several examples of companies investing heavily into physical locations, only to scale back later.
In 2020, Microsoft had decided to shut down all of its physical locations permanently and focus more on online sales for its products. This year, in March, Amazon announced that it was shutting its physical bookstores, ‘Amazon 4-Star’ locations, and pop-up mall kiosks. The company plans to limit its brick-and-mortar push to the grocery sector.
“The best way to understand virtual reality is to experience it,” said Meta Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg, during the announcement. The company has previously experimented with pop-up shops in various locations. However, no information has been disclosed about plans for more stores in the future.
The past year has been a transformational one for the company as it has moved on from being a social media platform to a metaverse-focused entity. It believes that the metaverse, characterized by immersive worlds accessible via headsets, is the next major computing revolution after smartphones. The company had rebranded itself from Facebook to Meta to reinstate its commitment to the space.
Meta had also partnered with EssilorLuxottica SA, the world’s biggest eyewear company, to sell its smart headgear. The two companies had jointly developed Ray-Ban Stories smartglasses, which were sold in a select few of the Franco-Italian company’s 8,000 retail outlets globally.