Stock Groups

Meta’s first store aims to lure consumers to the metaverse


Chris Nguyen (experience experts) and Katie Contreras (customer onboarding station), are seen at Quest Demo’s Quest Demo Space during a preview of the initial physical store by Meta Platforms Inc. in Burlingame. California. May 4, 2022.

Brittany Hosea Small | Reuters

MetaThe opening of their first ever retail store is the next stage in its evolution from an ad supported social network to a hardware-driven technology company for the metaverse era.

As the company formerly known as Facebook works to justify the billions it’s pouring into metaverse infrastructure – its Reality Labs segment lost $3 billion in the first quarter — it’s stepping up its efforts to introduce its next-generation products to the mainstream consumer. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, has outlined an ambitious vision of the metaverse in which users will be able to interact with virtual worlds using various devices such as virtual reality headsets. However, he has indicated that this won’t happen until the last decade.

CNBC spoke with Martin Gilliard about Meta Store’s Head, who explained that it was created to show customers Meta’s products. You have to see them in person to fully appreciate.

Gilliard explained that “the store is crucial for us to provide another touchpoint for the customer.” The store’s findings will inform whether we do continue doing these. But what really matters is telling a story to the customer and getting their feedback. 

Meta’s first brick & mortar presence is a tidy 1,500 square foot space adjacent to its Reality Labs Headquarters in Burlingame, California, with three products on display on blonde wood shelves.

Quest Two is the most crucial for metaverse adoption. This headset allows consumers to show that they understand virtual reality and can be used in a variety of scenarios.

Meta team members will stand by to assist in demonstrating different areas during the preview of the first physical store owned by Facebook Meta Platforms Inc. Burlingame California on May 4, 2022.

Brittany Hosea Small | Reuters

Meta’s Ray Ban Stories are “smart glasses”, which can capture video and photos to be shared on social media.

The company will also be showcasing its Portal video calling device, which it is marketing to families and work-from-home workers.

Gilliard says, “We designed the store to feel homey, to feel like work,”

The stores don’t just showcase Meta’s latest products. Gilliard stated that the company will also be learning from how consumers interact with the products, as they are all in new categories.

Gilliard states that customer feedback is an important part of the future.

The new Meta retail location opened in Burlingame on May 9th, 2022. Customers waited outside to get in the queue.

Nathan Frandino | Reuters

The store, which is not located on Burlingame’s main pedestrian street, is instead anchored at Meta’s Reality Labs offices. Gilliard says, “Whatever I have to say about it is its accessibility. You can walk a lot here. [the first day’s]”I don’t believe that the lack of turnout is a barrier to customers showing up at our store.

Meta is not yet revealing whether or not it intends to open permanent shops, nor pursue pop-ups like Amazon.