Facebook Wants to Open Retail Stores Where People Can Literally Step into the Metaverse

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 5 Nov 2021

Facebook, now called Meta, is planning to open physical retail stores in the near future so customers would be able to experience the Metaverse firsthand. The stores will showcase the range of Oculus products in a “welcoming” and “judgment-free” environment, The New York Times reported.

The report explained that Meta executives began toying with the idea of a retail experience sometime last year but the project has gathered steam following the rebranding to Meta. Early designs of the store reportedly showcased a minimal and modern design, with Meta wanting its customers to feel “curious” and “close.” The company also deliberated upon a few names for its chain of retail experience stores and “Facebook Store” was a top pick.

“The aim of the stores is to make the world “more open and connected,” according to the company documents viewed by The Times. They are also intended to spark emotions like “curiosity, closeness,” as well as a sense of feeling “welcomed” while experimenting with headsets in a “judgment-free journey,” according to the documents.

Early designs for Meta’s stores appeared modern, with a flat, minimalist aesthetic to the building exteriors and subtle placement of the Facebook brand, according to the documents. The company considered naming its stores Facebook Hub, Facebook Commons, Facebook Innovations, Facebook Reality Store, and From Facebook, before eventually settling on the Facebook Store as a leading candidate, the documents said.”

The report says that if Meta proceeds to open a physical retail store, it would start with Burlingame, California. This would be the first physical manifestation of Meta, a platform with over 3.5 billion users around the world. The store will allow people to experience a variety of Oculus products which will soon be renamed Meta as part of the rebranding. For instance, the Oculus Quest will be renamed the Meta Quest. A Meta spokesperson did not respond to NYT’s request for comment.

In case you aren’t caught up, Facebook’s rebranding to Meta is a part of co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of transitioning Facebook from a social media company to a Metaverse company. Zuckerberg said the rebranding lays the groundwork for the next chapter of the company’s history. Meanwhile, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger will continue using their existing names.