By James Wells

IPSWICH: RT Edwards has grown from a five pound note borrowed by a retrenched rail worker to a $100 million business which has now joined a $3.3 billion buying group. The secret to its success has been supporting the community which supports the business.

The RT Edwards business was started in 1931 when local electrician Roy Edwards was retrenched from his job on the railways and, after borrowing five pounds from his aunt, hopped on his bicycle and began seeking electrical work door to door throughout the Ipswich region.

The business, which has grown to 350 staff, continues to be managed by the Edwards family, including Tom Edwards and his four children.

RT Edwards is the largest single member of the national Retravision Buying Group, and has expanded the company interests into the areas of furniture, floor coverings, bedding and second hand as members of the Furniture Court, Carpet Court, and Beds R Us Buying Groups.

The RT Edwards business has been built with strong links to families in the local community as well as through donating to charity, fetes and fairs as well as sponsoring sports teams including the Ipswich Jets Rugby League Team and RT Edwards XI cricket team with a philosophy of “we always try to get involved in the community that supports us” — the company claims on its website.