Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, opens its first store

Burlingame, Calif.—Meta, the technology company formerly known as Facebook, opened its first physical retail space Monday at its campus in Burlingame, Calif.

The new store provides customers with a hands-on experience with hardware that can take them into the metaverse, as well as a virtual space where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and socialize with other users.

“We don’t sell the Metaverse in our store, but I hope people will walk in and out knowing a little more about how our products will help them connect to it,” said Martin Gilliard, Head of Meta Store. , in a message. on Meta Blog the announcement of the new store.

“Once people experience the technology, they can appreciate it better.”

Customers will be able to purchase Meta Quest 2the second iteration of the company’s virtual reality headset, which sells for $299, and accessories for the headset, like a carrying case.

There is an interactive display wall and demonstration area where visitors can play a variety of games, such as golf or fishing, on wall-to-wall curved LED screens that display what they see in the headset to other customers.

Once the demo is complete, users will receive a 30-second clip of the experience to share with their friends.

Metaportal video calling devices, featuring AI-powered smart cameras, are also available for purchase in the store.

There’s also a demo area for Portal devices, allowing visitors to video call a salesperson who can walk them through all the features.

Visitors can also test Ray-Ban Storiesthe first smart glasses from sunglasses brands, although they must be purchased directly from Ray-Ban.

The smart specs allow wearers to take first-person photos and videos and share them via Meta-owned Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

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Meta’s 1,550 square foot store is strategically located near the headquarters of Reality Labs, the headquarters of the research teams behind Meta’s augmented and virtual reality technologies. Meta operates 12 research facilities around the world.

“Having the store here in Burlingame gives us more opportunities to experiment and keep the customer experience at the heart of our development. What we learn here will help shape our future retail strategy,” Gilliard said.

“Ultimately, our goal with the Meta Store is to show people what’s possible with our products today, while providing a glimpse into the future as the metaverse comes to life and hopefully demystifying that concept a bit in the process,” Meta said.

SEE: Take a look inside the Meta Store

Facebook renamed itself Meta in November 2021 at a time when he was in the spotlight for his role in spreading false information. The company attributed the change to its “all-inclusive” attitude on the Metaverse.

Metaverse revenue opportunity was valued at $500 billion in 2020, according to 2021 study Bloomberg Reportand could reach $800 billion by 2024.

With such a lucrative and relatively untapped market to seize, luxury brands are claiming their place in the metaverse, seeking to capture the attention of tech-savvy Gen Z shoppers.

Last May, Gucci and Roblox, a popular metaverse platform, teamed up to the Gucci Garden experience in honor of the brand’s 100th anniversary. For two weeks only, visitors could walk around the garden, try and buy digital products for their avatars.

In September 2021, Balenciaga partners with Fortnite video game to create digital products inspired by real designs.

National Jeweler columnists Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams delve into the metaverse in their latest column, highlighting what jewelers need to know and how they can be a part of it.

“Jewelry is the perfect category for the metaverse,” Syama Meagher, CEO and chief retail strategist at Scaling Retail, said in the column.

“It is collectible by nature, perfect for collaborations and carries more brand loyalty than clothing. We have to ask ourselves how do our brands create meaning in a virtual world where people gather and socialize?”

During the annual Jewelry Market Week in Las Vegas in June, the JCK Show will feature a keynote on the topic by Swan Sit, former global head of digital marketing at Nike, Estée Lauder and Revlon.

Titled “Web3 Is Coming—Navigating the Past, Present, and Future of Retail,” the conference is scheduled for Friday, June 10 at 8:30 a.m. at The Venetian and is open to all registered badge holders.

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