- CompanyRoss Stores
Barbara Rentler has had the unenviable task of competing with TJX, one of retail’s fastest-growing stories for years. But on her watch, Ross is more than holding its own: Comparable sales rose 5% in the first half of 2015 as the off-price retailer has continued to win over bargain-hunting department-store shoppers for whom T.J. Maxx is still a bit too pricey. And its gross margin has grown despite stiffening competition thanks to hyperefficient buying processes she has overseen. Rentler’s strategy has been to choose markets she can win and fill those in with Ross stores, rather than dot the U.S. map with stores. Rentler thinks there is room to double store count to 2,500. There is plenty of untouched territory: Ross has no stores in New England or New York yet. Rentler will get there.