Meta announced their first retail store

Meta announced their first retail store

Meta announced their first retail store will open on May 9 in Burlingame, California.

Formerly known as Facebook, the recently rebranded Silicon Valley tech company is now shifting focus towards retail products that incorporate their concept of the Metaverse. This includes the Quest 2, currently the most popular VR gaming headset, as well as their VoIP teleconferencing device Portal and Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses.

Through interactive demos, you can make video calls to retail associates with Portal, learn how Ray-Ban Stories can help you stay present with the world around you, and explore the magic of VR with a first-of-its-kind immersive Quest 2 demo.

Promotional images on the announcement blog post and a video shared on Twitter by Meta’s CTO showcase the layout of the retail store located in the South San Francisco Bay area.

With a resemblance somewhere in between a Verizon store and a Sharper Image, this store aims to be a place where curious customers can experience Meta’s products hands-on.

The most interesting feature is the Quest 2 demo station; after making an appointment, you can spend 15 entire minutes trying out some of the most popular VR titles like Beat Saber and Supernatural, with a mixed reality video of your experience available after you’re finished.

Although visitors can purchase Portal or Quest 2 in-store, purchasing Ray-Ban Stories requires an employee to walk customers through the order process through their online storefront.

This online store was added to the company’s website at the same time Meta announced their first retail store, and it allows users to purchase the same products directly from the company.

“The Meta Store is going to help people make that connection to how our products can be the gateway to the metaverse in the future. We’re not selling the metaverse in our store, but hopefully people will come in and walk out knowing a little bit more about how our products will help connect them to it.”  – Martin Gilliard, Head of Meta Store

While Meta announced their first retail store, the move to create a physical storefront for their products is another strange decision in a long list of strange business decisions. It’s especially puzzling when you consider that the products they’re selling have been available at most department stores for quite some time now, with many locations also offering stations for curious customers to try them out before purchasing.

Ultimately, the reason why Meta announced their first retail store seems to be an attempt to further distance their brand image away from a controversial past as a social media behemoth blamed for the world’s social ills, and embrace a facet of the gaming industry where they’ve made admittedly impressive progress. If they’re able to use their retail location and special mixed reality demo booth to provide unique VR gaming experiences for customers, this could be a positive move for the company.

At the very least, this is a much more appealing VR-based retail experience than the one teased by Walmart.

This is Niche Culture. In this column, we regularly cover anime, geek culture, and things related to video games. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!


Michael Valverde is a freelance writer and editor. His favorite video game is Half-Life.

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