Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is discussing opening its first retail stores as it looks to break into the metaverse, according to The New York Times.
The stores, which have no slated opening date, will allow the company to showcase devices like virtual reality headsets and teleconferencing gadgets that allow people to video chat through Facebook, the Times reported. It would be the social media company’s first physical store.
News of the company’s vision comes about a week after Facebook changed its name to Meta. It said it’s shifting focus to building a virtual world or metaverse where users can socialize, work and play. The retail plans, which The Times said could be scrapped, indicate Meta is in need of a real-world presence to showcase what it can do in the virtual world.
The company sells several products that it could let customers try in person. Its Oculus Quest virtual reality headsets, which will be rebranded Meta Quest, could give people a chance to see its vision for a metaverse before they decide to buy. The company also sells Facebook Portal video chat devices, which are being rebranded Meta Portal. Both have already been sold in some retail locations like Best Buy.
Meta has come under fire in recent months after a former Facebook employee leaked documents to Congress and the media that revealed the company is aware of several issues with its platforms but chooses to ignore or not resolve them.
Meta is reportedly planning a flagship store for Burlingame, California, where it has an office for Reality Labs. Before the name change, the company reportedly settled on calling its retail locations the “Facebook Store.”
Companies like Apple have found success in retail stores, and Google recently opened its first location. Microsoft ditched its retail locations last year to focus on its online store.