Meta turns to a physical store to showcase its metaverse ambitions

The news: Meta is opening its first retail store in an effort to give consumers hands-on experience with hardware products such as its Quest 2 virtual reality headset and Ray-Ban Stories smartglasses, per a company blog post.

  • It also launched a shop tab on

More on this: The opening of a physical store represents the Facebook parent company’s latest effort to sell people on its vision of the metaverse—the immersive digital world for working, socializing and gaming—that’s accessible via headsets.

  • Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he believes the metaverse is the next major computing revolution, which is why the company plans to spend about $10 billion this year developing the technologies to build the metaverse.

A modest step: The Meta Store is set to open May 9 on the company’s Burlingame, California, campus, which is about 15 miles south of San Francisco. It will be open Monday through Friday only from 11 am to 6 pm.

  • With limited hours and foot traffic, the store is a far cry from the more than 500 Apple stores, which are located in prominent locations around the world, or even the Google store, which opened last year in New York’s bustling Chelsea neighborhood.

The big takeaway: Meta’s metaverse bet will only pay off if it can demonstrate the value of investing in hardware to experience the virtual world.

  • Physical stores offer one path to achieve that goal. But in order for Meta to realize the full potential of brick-and-mortar retail, it will need to expand the scope of its ambitions beyond its campus.

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast