The first “Meta” store gives the opportunity to touch and feel the products

The first “Meta” store gives the opportunity to touch and feel the products


Friday – 19 Shawwal 1443 AH – 20 May 2022 AD Issue No. [
15879]


The prospective virtual reality glasses company “Meta” opens the store in a location located within its properties

Harry McCracken

Every technology giant decides sooner or later to enter the world of retail; There is, for example, the company “Apple”, which has more than 500 stores, and is one of the largest and most successful companies; There are also “Microsoft”, “Google”, “Amazon”, “Samsung” and “Sony”; Now Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is opening its first store, a retail store open to the public located in Burlingame, California on the Realty Labs campus, which has 17,000 employees working for the company, which the group is responsible for. About the MetaQuest 2 headset, the Portal video calling device, and the Ray-Ban Stories camera-equipped sunglasses, which are the products the store is scheduled to display. One will be able to buy Quest and Portal in the store, but Ray-Ban Sutures will not be available, and store staff will help interested buyer to buy it online. It appears that the “Luxottica” group owned by Ray-Ban, which oversees retail distribution, is blocking Meta from selling it.
Now, I probably do not need to mention that Apple’s amazing retail model is not so common among technology companies, most of which are losing interest in the whole idea. The closures over the past few years have included the Microsoft chain of 83 stores, the latest Sony stores in the United States and dozens of Amazon stores. This begs the question: “Why do technology companies make the effort to become traders on the ground when they are so rarely successful?”
In most cases, product distribution does not seem to be the main goal; The aforementioned companies have no problem with you checking the goods and buying them from another place. Rather, it comes down to displaying the goods with a level of quality and professionalism. This is rarely done in large retail stores, which in the sales process focus on filling the shelves more than clearing up the product and presenting it properly and appropriately. For example, in 1999 Microsoft described Microsoft SF in Metrion, San Francisco, as more of a “retail environment” than a computer store, and quoted Steve Ballmer as saying that it was “designed to demonstrate the way Technology can improve our work. education, life and play in an interactive environment. ”
It may be that so many technology companies in the retail world are not so attached to providing a new profit center that they end up feeling drained and weak. When the Microsoft SF Store closed just two and a half years after it opened, the company told CNET that the store or retail environment “was no longer in line with the company’s own core business priorities.” Eight years later, when the Apple Store became a phenomenon, retail again became a priority for Microsoft until it ended, although the company retained three locations as centers of expertise, reversing its interest in physical sales.
As for Meta, it says nothing about long-term ambitions, especially for Meta, except that managing the first store “will help define our retail strategy,” but when I went to the store before it opened, it did not. seems like there’s something like launching a retail empire as big as Apple’s retail empire. First, it covers a small area of ​​about 1,550 square feet, a fifth the size of my nearest Apple store. When I entered the place, I found that it was not difficult for many workers and media professionals to leave it due to the feeling of suffocation and anxiety.
Instead of having exhibit space in a popular mall or shopping area, Meta opens the store in a location on its property, where it might be easier to monitor its activities, but there will not be many interested visitors. It is also known that the work of the shop will be only from Monday to Friday, and from eleven o’clock in the morning to six o’clock in the evening; These are not very suitable dates for shopping and buying electronic devices.
My colleague Elisabeth Segran described the new Google Store in New York City as more like an interactive museum than a shopping destination, filled with quirky amenities like a place where you can say a phrase that is instantly translated into 24 languages ​​via Google Translate. In contrast, Meta Store focuses on the simple goal of providing a hands-on experience for the company’s hardware. “At the (Meta) store, we want you to deal with everything,” a company placement read at the store’s opening. We want you to hold on and feel things. ” The first thing a visitor encounters is a Quest2 experience space, where the headset is projected onto a giant screen behind you so that passers-by can see what you can see in virtual reality experiences like Beat Saber.
Focusing on giving consumers the opportunity to touch and feel products makes sense, especially for Quest 2. Virtual reality is harder to understand than any other consumer technology until it is personally experienced and experienced. However, it is difficult for potential customers to make this happen, as the best store in which I shop has a not very prominent area, for the Meta Quest 2 as well as for the Apple products, but the headset for the trial run is standing, and there is no evidence that it can be tried. Therefore; I had to visit Best Buy to see if those headphone samples are available at Meta, but only in select stores and during certain business hours during the weekend.
In general, large shopping malls are not suitable places to learn about new products; It is therefore no surprise that Meta would like to take over the entire program. However, helping consumers understand its products is still a relatively new experience for the company. When the company was still a beginner in the name of “Facebook”, it grew and developed rapidly due to its great ability to spread, and people joined in because their friends joined in, and the whole process required no reflection. Other companies like WhatsApp and Instagram have used these similar methods.
And “Meta” is in a big challenge with itself, by trying to rediscover itself based on the full virtual world, and to build its ambitious material elements. The upcoming virtual reality glasses may require more explanation and practical experience than the “Quest” headset, and while the “Quest 2” price starts at $ 299, which is a reasonable price, the price of these glasses may be higher be, and more people may want to see and try for themselves before you pay any money. If the company’s fate boils down to those things, you can see why Meta does not want to rely on existing retailers trying to figure out how to sell those products.
Therefore; Even if the new Meta store is relatively small, and even if it will not last or exist forever, it is trying to solve a real problem that it does not face alone. Meta will certainly not be the last technology company to try to play the store owner.

– “Tribune Media” services


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