Facebook parent firm Meta to open first physical retail store

Facebook parent company Meta has announced plans to open its first physical retail store, which will open in May on the company’s campus in Burlingame, California.

The store, which is due to open on May 9, will be used to offer product demos of the tech giant’s growing range of gadgets – including its Portal smart home hubs, Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses and Quest 2 virtual reality headsets – and for purchasing some devices and accessories.

The move sees the company follow a number of other tech firms over the years, including the likes of Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Samsung, by branching out into its own-brand physical retail space to showcase its range of products and services.

Alongside the store, Meta confirmed it was also adding a new shopping tab to the meta.com website to provide a dedicated place to shop all the company’s hardware products online.

Martin Gilliard, head of Meta Store, said the aim of the retail space was to allow people to “experience the technology” and as a result “gain a better appreciation for it”.

The technology giant, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, said it hoped the store would help people better understand the metaverse and how they could connect to it.

The metaverse is the name given to online spaces where people using virtual reality headsets access games, but they can also meet others for work and social experiences.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has previously declared the metaverse as the future of online connectivity, rebranding Facebook and its other services under the name Meta last year as part of plans to become a “metaverse 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,” Mr Gilliard added.

“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.”