Meta is going retail: The company is getting ready to open its first Meta Store in Burlingame on May 9. The store will allow people to try and buy hardware products like Meta’s Portal smart displays, its Quest VR headset and the smart glasses Meta has made in partnership with Ray-Ban.
The store also features a big projection wall meant to showcase VR to people not wearing headsets. "The best way to understand virtual reality is to experience it,” Mark Zuckerberg said. “At the new Meta Store, anyone can demo popular apps on Quest 2 and project what you're experiencing onto a big wall for your friends to see.”
It’s worth noting that this first Meta store isn’t exactly prime retail real estate. Instead, it is housed in a building that is also home to the company’s Reality Labs hardware division. The office building is near a popular Bay Area playground, but about an hour’s walk away from downtown Burlingame. In other words: Meta isn’t really counting on any foot traffic.
Instead, it's looking to use the store as a testing ground, according to Meta Store head Martin Gilliard. “Having the store here in Burlingame gives us more opportunity to experiment and keep the customer experience core to our development,” Gilliard said. “What we learn here will help define our future retail strategy.”
The New York Times reported in November that Meta executives at one point debated opening stores across the world. A Meta spokesperson told Protocol that the company didn’t have plans for future stores to share at this point.Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Martin Gilliard's name. This story was updated on April 25, 2022.