McDonald’s franchisees hire prominent racial justice lawyer, Sports Illustrated owner focuses on merch, and the jewelry industry moves online

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving and happy Black Friday!



a group of people sitting in front of a crowd: Thanks to the pandemic, Black Friday is looking different — and less crowded — this year. NurPhoto/Getty Images


© NurPhoto/Getty Images
Thanks to the pandemic, Black Friday is looking different — and less crowded — this year. NurPhoto/Getty Images

We at Insider Retail have been lamenting the “death” of Black Friday for years now. But the pandemic could make things even worse. Social distancing rules and in-store capacity limitations will certainly take their toll on the customer turnout for the shopping event. Many retailers also opted to start sales as early as October this year to combat the emergence of large crowds.

Beyond black Friday, a lot more has happened in the retail world this week! So, if you haven’t already subscribed, click here to get our weekly roundup of everything you need to know in the world of retail and restaurants written by me, Shoshy Ciment, and my colleague, Bethany Biron.

Now, onto the news of the week!



a man wearing a suit and tie: Daryl Parks speaks during a press conference in 2015, serving as the attorney for the family of Michael Brown. Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images


© Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
Daryl Parks speaks during a press conference in 2015, serving as the attorney for the family of Michael Brown. Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

The current and former Black McDonald’s franchisees that have filed two lawsuits against the fast-food giant have a new lawyer on their legal team: Daryl Parks.

The civil right attorney has a record of serving as counsel in high-profile racial justice cases. He previously represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

“The case against McDonald’s is historic, and it is a privilege to be representing the Black men and women who were – and continue to be – treated like second-class citizens by the company,” Parks said in a statement. McDonald’s has denied allegations of racial discrimination.



Authentic Brands Group partnered with apparel company Mitchell & Ness for a line of products featuring historic Sports Illustrated covers. Authentic Brands Group


© Authentic Brands Group
Authentic Brands Group partnered with apparel company Mitchell & Ness for a line of products featuring historic Sports Illustrated covers. Authentic Brands Group

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which owns the rights to 50 brands, acquired Sports Illustrated in 2019. The company has been licensing the magazine’s name and intellectual property to create merchandise, including nutritional supplements, CBD cream, and apparel collaborations.

ABG told Business Insider it is trying to balance keeping traditionalist fans happy while expanding into new categories.

“Our vision is, how do we take arguably the most famous sports brand that’s meant a lot to a lot of people, and create a 21st-century media brand,” Marc Rosen, the executive vice president for ABG’s business unit, told Business Insider in an interview. “It’s about being in a lot of places and being a lot of things to your customers.”



a hand holding an object in his hand: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images


© Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Gina Drosos, the CEO of Signet Jewelers, said that the jewelry category has been “quite behind in developing e-commerce” in an interview with Business Insider.

Signet — which operates Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, and other jewelry merchants — is pivoting much of its business to online. It is currently in the middle of a multi-year turnaround plan dubbed “Path to Brilliance,” which involves improving its omnichannel capabilities.

Drosos said the company wants to “crack the code on why it’s taken the [jewelry] category so long to move into a virtual world.”

Everything else you need to know:



a person sitting at a table in front of a building: An Equinox gym in New York City. Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images


© Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images
An Equinox gym in New York City. Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

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