Lion’esque Merges With Global Architecture Firm MG2 Amid Experiential Retail Boom

Samantha McDonald

As the rise of e-commerce and shifting consumer demands continue to transform the retail landscape, an increasing number of brands have begun offering experiences and interactive services that transcend the traditional brick-and-mortar sale format.

Enter the Lion’esque Group, which has lent a hand to clients including department store chain Nordstrom, sportswear giant Puma and consignment platform The RealReal in an effort to help them reformat their stores into experiential destinations.

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The retail consultancy is furthering its mission, announcing today its merger with global architecture firm MG2 on Jan. 2. In a statement, Lion’esque CEO Melissa Gonzalez described the partnership as one that would provide brands with a broader network of expertise and also give them access to services spanning experiential design to operational strategy under one umbrella.

“This decision wasn’t just about expanding our capabilities and resources,” she added. “It was also about aligning ourselves with a partner that shares our vision and culture — a culture that is fueled [by] entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for transformative design and a nimble approach to learning and adapting to an ever-evolving industry.”

MG2, on the other hand, is one of the largest architecture firms in the country, with its headquarters in Seattle as well as offices in Minneapolis; Washington, D.C., Irvine, Calif.; and even abroad in Shanghai. It has previously worked on projects with Nordstrom Rack, Target, H&M, Vans and REI, where it has focused on store remodeling as well as brand messaging.

“The alignment between MG2 and The Lion’esque Group with our values, goals and what we are most passionate about was clear,” said MG2 CEO Mitch Smith, “as well as our mutual focus on creating memorable and transformative experiences for our client’s customers.”

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