Why Is Meta Opening a Physical Store?

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, announced that it planned to open its first physical store on May 9.  What is behind Meta’s move? Is this at odds with its goal of transforming into a metaverse company?  Is this potentially a good thing for the metaverse?

 

Complimentary and Potentially Enhancing to its Metaverse Ambitions

Meta announced in its blog that it planned to open its first physical retail space at its campus in Burlingame, California.[1]  The store will allow customers to get hands-on experience with all of Meta’s hardware products. 

 

Meta’s physical store will enable customers to experience the metaverse experience firsthand.  Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg noted, “The best way to understand virtual reality (VR) is to experience it.”[2]  VR is one component of the metaverse.

 

According to its blog, the Meta store will showcase the company’s Quest 2 VR headset, the Portal video calling device, and the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses. Visitors can demo popular apps on Quest 2 and project their experience on a large, curved LED screen in the store for others to see. 

 

The company is also working on producing additional hardware products such as a smartwatch and more high-tech augmented reality glasses.

 

Meta’s decision to open the store on its corporate grounds is deliberate. According to Martin Gilliard, Head of Meta Store, “having the store in Burlingame gives us more opportunity to experiment and keep the customer experience core to our development.”[3]  Meta intends to learn from customer experience in its stores and help define its future retail strategy.

 

Following Other Tech Company’s Lead 

Meta is not the first tech company to open a physical store.  In May 2021, Google announced that it was opening its first physical retail store – the Google Store – near its offices in Chelsea in New York City.[4]  The store showcases some of Google’s physical devices, such as Pixel phones, Nest products, Fitbit devices, and Pixelbooks.  The store employs staff to help customers troubleshoot issues or help with installations.

 

Although it closed most of its 83 physical stores, Microsoft left a handful open, including its London, New York, Sydney, and Redmond, WA locations.  These stores were reimagined as “experience centers.” The locations showcase some of Microsoft’s products, such as its Surface PCs, Xbox, and its Windows and Office products.[5]

 

And, of course, we have Apple, who, in 2001, opened its first of what would become many retail stores.

 

Using Physical Space to Showcase Technology

There is a precedent for using physical locations to showcase a tech company’s technology: getting potential customers acclimated to new products and to engage in market research. 

 

As such, we believe that Meta’s opening of its first physical store is positive as it may allow consumers to experience the metaverse firsthand.

 

The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)

The Fount Metaverse ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index.  The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.

 

MTVR may be an attractive vehicle for investors looking to invest in the metaverse.

 

For a full list of MTVR holdings, please click here.

 

 

 


 


[1] Introducing Meta Store: A Hands-On Experience with Our Hardware, Meta Website, 4/25/22

[2] Isaac, Mike, Meta Plans to Open Its First Retail Stores as It Highlights Metaverse-Related Products, The New York Times, 4/25/22

[3] Introducing Meta Store: A Hands-On Experience with Our Hardware, Meta Website, 4/25/22

[4] Kelly, Samantha Murphy, Google to Open its First Retail Store to Sell Devices, CNN, 5/20/21

[5] Liao, Shannon, Microsoft is Closing All of Its Stores, CNN, 6/26/20

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Bong-Geun Choi Chief Economist

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