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Solana Spaces will be closing two Solana (SOL)-themed, community-oriented retail stores in New York City and Miami at the end of the month.
Solana Spaces tweeted the news on February 21, sharing a note from founder Vibhu Norby explaining the reason for the store closure.
Below is a note from the founder. @vibhu.
dear @solanaspaces community,
We made the difficult decision to close stores in New York and Miami by the end of February and convert Solana’s onboarding efforts to digital products like DRiP. https://t.co/kjNu9Ay4Gk
— Solana Spaces (@solanaspaces) February 21, 2023
Norby, who founded Solana Spaces in early 2022, expects the company to reach an “inflection point” in its store and shift its investment focus to DRiP, the company’s new non-fungible token artwork airdrop platform. I explained that I urged
“Our store receives 500 to 1,000 people a week, and DRiP receives the same number every day,” said Norby, explaining the decision to shift the investment focus.
The decision to close stores in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards neighborhood and Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood was made “a few weeks ago” and will “sunset” at the end of February, Norby said.
The ambitious initiative was relatively short-lived, with only two official stores opening in New York and Miami in late July and August, respectively.
Norby said this “experiment” is part of a broader plan to get more people involved in the Solana and Web3 ecosystems.
“From day one, our mission was to test new disruptive models, get people to Web3, and serve the community on behalf of the Solana Foundation.”
“As I used to tell people, as great as the store was, if we find a more efficient way to get people to Solana, we’ll be fully committed to that,” he added.
But as he realized, the company’s efforts could use DRiP to achieve better results in the digital realm.
The Solana-themed store offered customers the opportunity to participate in everything from in-person wallet onboarding tutorials, earning rewards, shopping for merchandise, and attending events.
When Solana Spaces opened its first store in New York in late July, Norby hoped the store would bring more than 100,000 people to Solana a month.
However, Norby said in his letter that only 75,000 people had been able to set foot in the store during his seven-month tenure.
Related: Solana State: Will Layer 1 Protocols Rise Again in 2023?
The startup was backed by the Solana Foundation, Solana-based wallet provider Phantom, and native cryptocurrency exchange Orca. It didn’t go well, but it seems to have gained a lot of fans.
Second visit a few days ago!
Thank you for the experience!
Every time I come to Miami, I must make a pilgrimage to SolanaSpaces pic.twitter.com/ugCqbSyIzg
— Investrepreneuer.sol (@LordHearMePray) February 15, 2023
The video game project Star Atlas and aurorythanked Solana Spaces for its contribution to the ecosystem.
sad to hear the news of @solanaspaces Store closures in Miami and New York The event that Star Atlas attended and hosted was incredible.
— Star Atlas (@staratlas) February 21, 2023
The closure comes as the crypto winter drags on, causing many industry-leading companies to lay off employees and close offices around the world.