As he takes over the helm of Target Corp. Brian Cornell will have to confront four main challenges:

U.S. sales: Target has posted declines in same-store sales in the U.S. in three of the last five quarters. Other big-box stores such as Wal-Mart have also been struggling amid heightened competition from dollar stores and online retailers.

Canada: Target lost nearly $1 billion last year with its Canadian operations after opening 124 stores there as part of its first major international expansion. Should Target cut its losses and exit Canada or can it turn the tide up north?

Digital: Target has developed a reputation for being behind the curve when it comes to its online prowess. Can Cornell help Target step up its digital efforts?

The data breach: Target is still trying to repair its image after the massive data breach last year in which hackers seized the card data and personal information of tens of millions of shoppers. While the company says traffic has rebounded since then, it still has some work to do to mend its brand reputation and regain shoppers’ trust.

Kavita Kumar