Solana Spaces, a Solana-themed retail chain, has announced that it will be closing its company-owned and operated stores in New York and Miami by the end of February. The decision comes after the prolonged crypto winter has frozen the company’s ambitious initiative. Last summer, Solana Spaces launched its first physical store in New York’s Hudson Yards and another one in Miami’s Wynwood district in August. The stores aimed to be a Web3 onboarding space for newcomers, offering Solana branded merchandise. However, with the closure of the stores, the company has decided to pivot its Solana onboarding efforts towards digital products like DRiP, a free NFT product that has already amassed over 100k sign-ups. Solana Spaces joined a list of IRL projects like Bored & Hungry, a Bored Ape Yacht Club-themed fast food restaurant based in Los Angeles.
According to an interview with Vibhu Norby, founder of Solana Spaces, the decision to close its physical stores in New York and Miami was a difficult but necessary one. The company is focusing on more efficient ways to onboard customers through digital products, such as their free NFT product DRiP, which has garnered over 100k sign-ups. Although Solana Spaces could have kept the stores open, Norby stated that it did not make as much financial sense as it did in the past.
According to Vibhu Norby, Solana Spaces’ focus is now on DRiP, an online platform that provides Solana NFTs for free, and has seen sign-ups surpassing 50,000 as of this week, with another 175,000 on a waitlist to join. The team has found more efficient ways to onboard people from both a product and financial standpoint, hence the decision to pivot to digital products. Even though the stores in New York and Miami are closing, Norby says Solana Spaces is not done and that he believes they will find new ways to onboard people in the future.
It seems that despite the closure of its physical stores in New York and Miami, Solana Spaces is not completely shutting down. According to the founder Vibhu Norby, the company will continue its efforts to onboard people into the Solana ecosystem through digital products such as DRiP, a website where collectors can receive free Solana NFTs, and the launch of new franchises globally. In fact, one Solana Spaces franchise is set to open in India soon. In the meantime, the New York and Miami stores will be offering giveaways and discounts on merch leading up to their closure on February 28th.