Walter Lamothe to receive Retail Council of Canada’s Lifetime Achievement Award - Retail Council of Canada

Walter Lamothe to receive Retail Council of Canada’s Lifetime Achievement Award

April 10, 2024

TORONTO, April 10, 2024  

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is proud to announce that Walter Lamothe, President & CEO of Bentley & Co LTD, a retail veteran with a distinguished career spanning over four decades in the Canadian retail sector, will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, a special recognition that is part of the Excellence in Retailing Awards of Distinction program that recognizes outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the retail industry.

At 17, Mr. Lamothe, then working as a welder in Alberta, discovered his passion for retail. Beginning as a stock boy earning $3 an hour at a Jack Fraser store in Edmonton (Alberta), he swiftly advanced to become Manager of a Tip Top Tailors store in Hull (Quebec) by the age of 21. His career continued to grow as he joined Shirmax, eventually becoming Director of Stores. He adeptly navigated the company’s 1993 filing, and his management contributions were noticed, leading later to his nomination as Executive Vice President of Operations, a role he held until 2002.

In 2002, Mr. Lamothe joined MEXX Canada. He became President in 2004 and President & CEO in 2007. In 2011, he joined Reitmans Canada, where he held various leadership positions.  By 2014, he was appointed President and CEO, overseeing the entire Reitmans brand portfolio, a role he occupied until 2016.

He was appointed President & CEO of Bentley & Co LTD in 2018. He spearheaded the successful restructuring of the company in late 2019 under new ownership, mere months before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely impacted the travel industry. He navigated the company through lockdowns and economic turbulence, driving innovation with the introduction of new product lines amidst the tumultuous period.

“Walter’s illustrious and long career serves as a testament to his steadfast dedication to the Canadian retail industry. His ability to navigate through challenges with resilience and creativity, coupled with his passion for innovation, are undeniable proof of his unwavering commitment to excellence,” noted Diane J. Brisebois, President & CEO of Retail Council of Canada. “And even through the COVID-19 challenges, Walter extended a lending hand to RCC and our team, always ready to help support the industry and our hard-working retail employees across Canada.  We have all benefitted from his kindness and generosity!”

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Walter Lamothe at Retail Council of Canada’s Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala on May 28, 2024, at the Toronto Congress Centre from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET. To purchase Gala tickets visit

The Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala will close the first day of RCC STORE 24, which is Canada’s biggest retail conference, from May 28 – May 29, 2024. RCC STORE 24 will feature 75+ speakers and is attracting retail leaders from across North America and around the globe.

Media are welcome to attend.


About Bentley & Co LTD

With a presence of over 150 stores nationwide, a workforce of 800 employees, and a growing digital influence, Bentley & Co LTD is Canada’s leading retailer of luggage, handbags, leisure, and travel products. Bentley stands out for the development of its own brands such as Tracker (travel products) and Riona (vegan handbags and accessories), as well as the distribution of renowned brands such as Samsonite, Air Canada, Adidas, and Jansport. Bentley & Co LTD was founded in 1987 and is owned by Hilco Capital, based in the UK.


About Retail Council of Canada

Retail is Canada’s largest private-sector employer with over 2.3 million Canadians working in our industry. This sector is a major economic contributor, generating more than $91 billion annually in wages and employee benefits. In 2023, core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) exceeded $501 billion. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members account for more than two-thirds of these core retail sales and 95 per cent of the grocery market. Our membership extends across the country, embracing over 54,000 storefronts in diverse formats such as department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers, online merchants, and quick service restaurants. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, RCC, a not-for-profit, industry-funded association, proudly represents retail businesses of all sizes, from small independents to large national chains, in communities nationwide.

Branka Stavric, Senior Director Marketing Communications and Research