A 1,550 square foot retail space in Burlingame, California has been converted into the first-ever Meta brick-and-mortar retail store as the VR giant aims to bring more people closer to active VR use. Meta opened the store May 9th on its campus to showcase a range of VR headsets, its Ray-Ban collaboration smart glasses, and the Meta Portal video conferencing device.
Shoppers can experience VR gaming, advanced video calling, and AR via interactive on-site demonstrations of Quest 2, Meta Portal, and Ray-Ban Stories glasses. A gaming area lets visitors test out Beat Saber, GOLF+, Real VR Fishing, and Supernatural surrounded by a wall-to-wall curved LED screen, presumably there so friends can watch you reel in a big one or sink a perfect eagle.
Meta’s Ambitions on Display
As with most of the company formerly known as Facebook’s endeavors, the Meta store is also a data collection tool. “Having the store in Burlingame gives us more opportunity to experiment and keep the customer experience core to our development,” said Head of Meta Store, Martin Gilliard. “What we learn here will help define our future retail strategy.”
Gilliard outlined the basis for the store’s existence, pointing to the eventual arrival of the metaverse and the confusion around its as-yet theoretical existence. “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.”
Whether the appearance of the Burlingame store will lead to a swath of Meta retail outlets across the USA or even worldwide, remains to be seen. Considering the store exists on Meta’s property and not amidst a regular retail environment suggests Meta is a long way from mimicking the ubiquity of, say, the Apple Store.