Meta will open its first physical retail store next month, signaling the growing importance of the company’s hardware business as it pivots to the metaverse. The “Meta Store” will open on May 9th in Burlingame, California, near Meta’s Reality Labs headquarters.
The store will showcase the company’s VR headsets, Ray-Ban Stories glasses, and Portal devices, as well as provide shoppers with interactive demos.
Physical retail stores, according to Meta, are intended to help the company not only sell more hardware, but also expose more people to its VR and AR technology.
Virtual reality demonstrations will take place in-store on a massive “wall-to-wall” LED display that will broadcast content from participants’ headsets. Mark Zuckerberg teased the display in a recent Facebook post.
In a blog post published on Monday, Zuckerberg stated that the new store would help people “get a sense of what’s coming as we build towards the metaverse.”
Meta is developing augmented reality glasses, a high-end VR headset, and possibly a smartwatch in addition to its existing products.
Though the initial store will be small about 1,500 square feet near the company office Meta’s retail footprint could grow significantly in the future. According to the New York Times, the company was considering opening stores all over the world last fall.
However, a significant expansion of its physical stores would almost certainly require Meta to sell far more devices than it currently does. In 2021, the company’s metaverse division lost $10 billion.