After a promising start to her stint as CEO, Gass must now steer Kohl’s back to growth after two quarters of sales declines. She urgently needs to revitalize Kohl’s private-label brands and struggling home-goods businesses. Kohl’s big push in activewear, which Gass masterminded before becoming CEO, continues to be a bright spot, with Under Armour bringing in new customers and Adidas preparing to add more shops. The coming year will show whether Gass’s bold bet on handling Amazon returns at Kohl’s stores, a move aimed at drumming up store visits by younger shoppers, will pay off. And observers will be watching to see if a new partnership—in which Facebook data helps Kohl’s choose some of what it will sell—can modernize its business.
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