Solana Spaces will close down its two Solana (SOL)-themed, community-oriented retail stores in New York City and Miami at the end of the month, as the physical stores didn’t onboard as many users as it initially anticipated.
Solana Spaces tweeted the news on Feb. 21 sharing a note from its founder, Vibhu Norby, explaining the reasons behind the store shutdowns.
The following is a note from our founder, @vibhu.
Dear @solanaspaces community,
We’ve made the difficult decision to sunset our stores in NYC and Miami by the end of February, and to pivot our Solana onboarding efforts into digital products like DRiP, our free NFT product with… https://t.co/kjNu9Ay4Gk
— Solana Spaces (@solanaspaces) February 21, 2023
Norby — who founded Solana Spaces in early 2022 — explained the company reached an “inflection point” with the stores, prompting them to shift its investment focus to “DRiP,” the firm’s new nonfungible token (NFT) artwork airdrop platform.
“While our stores onboard between 500 and 1,000 people per week, DRiP onboards that same quantity EVERY DAY,” Norby said, explaining the decision to shift its investment focus.
The decision to close the shops — located in Hudson Yards, New York and Wynwood, Miami — was made “a few weeks ago” and will “sunset” at the end of February, said Norby.
The ambitious initiative was relatively short-lived with the two stores having only officially opened in late July and August in New York and Miami respectively.
Norby said the “experiment” was part of a broader plan to onboard more people into the Solana and Web3 ecosystem:
“Our endowed mission from day one was to experiment with new and disruptive models to bring people to Web3, and to serve the community on behalf of the Solana Foundation.”
“As I told people often, as awesome as the stores were, if we found a more efficient way to bring people into Solana, we would throw our efforts at that,” he added.
But as he has since realized, the firm’s efforts may achieve better results in the digital realm with DRiP.
The Solana-themed stores offered customers the opportunity to partake in all things from in-person wallet onboarding tutorials, earning rewards, merchandise shopping and attending events.
When Solana Spaces opened its first New York-based store in late July, Norby hoped the store would bring in more than 100,000 people to Solana per month.
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