Solana Spaces will close its Solana-themed physical stores only seven months after launch, the startup announced via Twitter. The stores will close by the end of February.
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
The startup opened its first physical store in New York’s Hudson Yards last summer to serve as a Web3 onboarding space for new users, where loyal users could also purchase Solana-branded merchandise. Later in August 2022, Solana Spaces opened another location in Miami’s Wynwood district, a bustling cultural hub.
Solana Spaces’ effort to bring Web3 into the physical world followed the steps of existing projects like Bored & Hungry, a Bored Ape Yacht Club-themed restaurant in Los Angeles.
The startup’s founder, Vibhu Norby, explained that Solana Spaces had found ways to onboard people to Web3 more efficiently from a financial and product perspective. Therefore, the business made the “difficult decision” not to maintain its stores.
“I think the reality is that we could have kept them running, but it didn’t make as much sense as it did in the past to do that, and so we didn’t,” Norby added.
The startup said it would pivot its Solana onboarding efforts into other digital products, like DRiP. DRiP is Solana Spaces’ online platform that enables collectors to get free Solana NFTs in weekly airdrops. According to Norby, DRiP onboards higher numbers of people than the physical stores.
Norby said the interest in DRiP exceeded his team’s expectations, with more than 50,000 new users signing up as of this week and another 175,000 on the waitlist.
Norby insisted that the closing of its physical stores would not be the end of Solana Spaces because the startup had begun open-sourcing its stores last November, making them available globally. A franchise is set to launch in India in the coming weeks.
Leading up to the closings, Norby said the New York and Miami stores offer giveaways and price cuts on various merchandise. He added that he wanted visitors to “enjoy” the final days of the physical stores.