Facebook owner Meta’s first physical store in Burlingame, California is now open to the public

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

The store, which opens to the public starting Monday, is for people wanting to check out products like Ray-Ban Stories, Metas AR glasses and sunglasses, as well as the Portal video calling gadget and Oculus virtual reality headsets.

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

“It’s a very tangible move from moving away from social media and ads that mislead people and elections and spying and data and all that stuff, to a very physical representation of clean, stylish, 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 tried the Oculus headset on for the first time – and believes the same will be true of others who are able to put on the glasses and try it. Apple pioneered physical retail stores in Silicon Valley, and Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook, is likely hoping to replicate at least some of that success.

“The truth is that physical things have never gone away and never will go away,” Akhtar said. “Everyone is aware that even when we enter the virtual world, we have to access it with hardware.” Facebook owner Meta’s first physical store in Burlingame, California is now open to the public

Ryan Sederquist

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