Meta has been planning brick and mortar stores for more than a year. The purpose of the locations would be to introduce people to Meta hardware: headsets, glasses, and Portal video calling devices. The report doesn’t mention whether products would actually be sold in-store, but it sounds like that isn’t the focus of the plan.
Discussions about brick and mortar stores reportedly “predated Facebook’s rebranding by many months”, with serious work on the initiative starting last year. The report’s sources say the project is still in development but isn’t guaranteed to proceed. If it does go ahead, the stores could “eventually span the world”.
Facebook opened a few temporary pop-up stores for the budget Oculus Go headset at its launch in 2018 but has otherwise relied on partnerships with existing retailers. The original Oculus Rift headset had demo stations at Best Buy, and this strategy was repeated with Oculus Quest and Rift S in 2019.