Meta is opening a metaverse-inspired brick-and-mortar store

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is opening its first real-life store to sell VR and AR devices.

The store, which opens on May 9, will be located on Meta Burlingame campus. It’s also where Reality Labs, a division of the company focusing on the metaverse, is located.

“In the Meta Store, you’ll be able to get hands-on experience with all our hardware products,” said a statement from the company. “We want you to interact with everything. We want you to pick stuff up. We want you to feel it.”

The store will include devices like Ray-Ban Stories smart sunglasses, and customers will be able to call retail associates using Meta’s Portal device, which allows video calling. There will also be a demo of the virtual reality headset Quest 2.

The goal of the store, according to the company, is to give the public a glimpse of what “the future as the metaverse comes to life.”

“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,” said Martin Gilliard, Head of Meta Store, in a statement.

Tech companies opening their own physical stores isn’t new, as seen with Apple, Google, and Microsoft. But this is a first for Meta, which had previously tried selling VR headsets in physical stores like Best Buy and Oculus products in pop-ups around New York City.

The company has created a lot of hype around the so-called ‘metaverse’ since rebranding to Meta back in 2021. Despite the hype, Meta’s Reality Labs lost more than $10 billion in 2021.

The plan for a physical store had apparently been in place since 2020, according to one 2021 report from the New York Times.

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