Solana Spaces is closing its New York and Miami stores. This decision comes as a result of the company's strategic shift to focus on its online presence.
The closure of these stores marks a significant milestone in the company's evolution, as it continues to prioritize digital growth and customer experience.
Solana Spaces is committed to providing its customers with the same quality products and services they have come to expect, but now with the convenience of online shopping.
Stores seven months after their grand openings.
Norby revealed that the "experiment" was part of a strategy to increase the number of users on Solana, yet the stores failed to attract as many people as they had initially anticipated.
Solana Spaces announced on February 21st that it will be closing its two Solana-themed, community-oriented retail stores in New York City and Miami at the end of the month.
Despite the initial anticipation of onboarding a large number of users, the physical stores failed to meet expectations. Founder Vibhu Norby shared a note on the company's Twitter page, providing insight into the decision to shutter the stores.
Norby, the founder of Solana Spaces, recently announced that the company had reached an "inflection point" with their stores, prompting them to shift their investment focus to DRiP, their new nonfungible token artwork airdrop platform.
"We've seen incredible growth with DRiP, onboarding the same quantity of people every day that our stores onboarded in a week," Norby said, emphasizing the decision to shift their investment focus.
The decision to close the stores, located in the Hudson Yards neighbourhood of Manhattan and the Wynwood section of Miami, was made a few weeks ago and they will be officially closing their doors at the end of February. This ambitious initiative was relatively short-lived, with the two stores having only opened in late July and August in New York and Miami respectively.
Norby stated that the "experiment" was part of a larger initiative to onboard more individuals into the Solana and Web3 ecosystem:
"Our mission from the outset has been to explore innovative and disruptive models to bring people to Web3, and to serve the community in the name of the Solana Foundation."
"As I often told people, as amazing as the stores were, if we could find a more efficient way to bring people into Solana, we would put all our energy into that," he added. He has since come to understand that the company's efforts may be more successful in the digital space with DRiP.
The Solana-themed stores gave customers the chance to experience a variety of activities, such as in-person wallet onboarding tutorials, earning rewards, shopping for merchandise, and attending events.
When Solana Spaces opened its first New York-based store in late July, Norby had high hopes that the store would bring in more than 100,000 people to Solana per month. Unfortunately, Norby's expectations were not met, as only 75,000 people managed to walk into the store over the course of its seven-month tenure.
The startup was sponsored by the Solana Foundation, the Solana-based wallet provider Phantom, and the native crypto exchange Orca. Despite the store's closure, it appears to have won over a lot of fans, leaving a lasting impression on the crypto community.
Several Solana-native industry players, such as the video game projects Star Atlas and Aurory, expressed their gratitude to Solana Spaces for its invaluable contribution to the ecosystem. By providing a platform for collaboration and innovation, Solana Spaces has enabled these projects to reach their full potential and make a lasting impact on the industry.
The closure comes as the prolonged crypto winter has caused many industry-leading companies to lay off personnel and shutter offices globally. This extended period of market stagnation has had a devastating impact on the crypto industry, forcing some of the most prominent firms to make drastic cutbacks.
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