Meta opens first physical store

Meta opens first physical store
Meta experience expert Askia Luna demonstrates the Ray Ban Stories smart glasses during a preview of the Meta Store in Burlingame, Calif., Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Facebook parent Meta has opened its first physical store—in Burlingame, California—to showcase its hardware products like virtual and augmented reality goggles and glasses.

The store, which is open to the public as of Monday, is made for people who want to test out products like Ray-Ban Stories, Meta's smart glasses and sunglasses, along with the Portal video calling gadget and Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headsets.

Shoppers still have to order the glasses from Ray-Ban but can buy the other products at the store.

"It's a very concrete step from moving away from social media and ads that mislead people and elections and spying and data and all those things to a very physical representation of clean, classy, well-designed, cool hardware that makes you go, ah," said Omar Akhtar, research director at Altimeter, a technology investment firm.

Akhtar said he "didn't believe in virtual reality" until he sat and tried on the Quest 2 headset for the first time—and believes this will be the same for others who are able to put on the goggles and try it out. Apple pioneered physical retail stores in Silicon Valley and Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook, is likely hoping it'll replicate at least some of that success.

"The truth of it is that physical things never went away and they're never going to go away," Akhtar said. "Everybody realizes that even if we are going to step into the virtual world, we're going to need to access it with hardware."

  • Meta opens first physical store
    The exterior of the Meta Store is seen in Burlingame, Calif., Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
  • Meta opens first physical store
    A Meta Portal Plus is displayed during a preview of the Meta Store in Burlingame, Calif., Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
  • Meta opens first physical store
    Meta experience experts gather during a preview of the Meta Store in Burlingame, Calif., Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
  • Meta opens first physical store
    A Meta Portal Go is displayed during a preview of the Meta Store in Burlingame, Calif., Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
  • Meta opens first physical store
    A Meta experience expert, left, demonstrates the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses during a preview of the Meta Store in Burlingame, Calif., Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
  • Meta opens first physical store
    A man experiences the Quest 2 virtual headset during a preview of the Meta Store in Burlingame, Calif., Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
  • Meta opens first physical store
    A woman examines the Meta Portal Go during a preview of the Meta Store in Burlingame, Calif., Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg

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