Facebook-owner Meta to open first physical store in metaverse bet

man stands in front of a sign of Meta, the new name for the company formerly known as Facebook, at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, U.S. October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

April 25 (Reuters) - Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O) is set to open its first physical store where shoppers can try out and buy virtual reality headsets and other gadgets as the company plots a course to take its highly touted metaverse mainstream.

The 1,550-square feet Meta Store at the company's Burlingame campus in California opens on May 9, and will feature demos for its Quest 2 VR headset and video calling device Portal, as well as smart glasses it produces with Ray-Ban, Meta said on Monday.

The devices, except for the Ray-Ban glasses, will be available for purchase at the store. The products can also be bought online through a new shopping tab on meta.com, the company said.

Meta is investing heavily in the metaverse - a virtual space where people interact, work and play - by adding new features to hardware devices that serve as access points to the virtual world.

Earlier this month, the Facebook owner said it would start testing tools for selling digital assets and experiences within its virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds, a VR platform Meta launched late last year.

Meta also said it would charge a 47.5% fee from creators of digital experiences and assets, a move that has attracted criticism from some app developers. read more

Shoppers tracking the space are awaiting the next version of the Quest 2 VR headset, likely to be released in the second quarter and widely seen by analysts as critical to the company's metaverse plans.

(This story corrects to show glasses produced with Ray-Ban are smart glasses, not augmented reality glasses, in paragraph 2)

Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru and Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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