The company formerly known as Facebook has been discussing the possibility of opening retail stores way before it rebranded itself as Meta, according to The New York Times. Apparently, discussions about opening brick-and-mortar shops started last year, though nothing has been finalized, and the project could still end up being scrapped. If Meta does open physical outlets, however, they will reportedly be more like experience stores introducing people to devices developed by its Reality Labs division rather than outright retail shops.
Those devices include the Oculus Quest (soon to be Meta Quest) virtual reality headsets and the Portal gadgets, which were designed primarily for video calling. The stores could also showcase the augmented reality smart glasses called Stories that Facebook developed with Ray-Ban. Based on the documents The Times saw, Meta's goal is to spark "curiosity" and "closeness" with its stores, as well as provide customers with a welcoming atmosphere where they can have a "judgment free journey" while experimenting with headsets.
Those same documents show that Meta envisions shops with a modern, minimalist aesthetic and subtle branding placement. The company considered a lot of possible names, such as Facebook Hub, Facebook Commons, Facebook Innovations, Facebook Reality Store and From Facebook. It eventually settled on Facebook Store, but that will mostly likely change now that the company has been renamed.
If Meta does push through with this plan, its first retail/experience store will be located in Burlingame, California, where there's a Reality Labs office. The Times says the project could eventually span the world, though, with locations in various countries and regions.