Rowes Toowoomba is celebrating 125 years as an iconic Downs furniture and bedding retailer.

When Josiah Rowes first opened his eponymous furniture store in 1892, just four years after arriving in Australia from Cornwall, England, the 1500 square foot shopfront was a humble beginning for what has become a regional icon. Now boasting a showroom 40 times bigger than the original, Rowes Toowoomba has been locally owned and operated by four generations of the Rowe family, offering old-fashioned service and product knowhow that comes from 125 years of service in the furniture business.

Josiah’s son Arthur became managing director of the then J. Rowe and Son store following his father’s retirement in 1915.

Arthur Rowe paved the way for expansion of the business, and eventfully came to welcome his son Treg Rowe to the firm. Treg joined the Rowe family business at age 17, and was appointed manager by the age of 20. In 1951, following the death of his father, Treg honoured family tradition and stepped into his father’s role of managing director.

In 1965, the Russell Street location began its milestone expansions, beginning with the purchase of the neighbouring Hart’s Building. The following year, Rowes purchased the three-storey O’Brien Building, an expansive space which was otherwise known as the People’s Palace at the time. After extensive interior renovations to the building, the Rowes storefront was adorned

with a modern aluminium façade that curved to suit the contours of its Russell Street location. This significant addition saw Rowes take the title of the largest single shopfront in Toowoomba.

Today, the store continues to be locally managed under the direction of the Rowe family. Rowes is proud to boast the only La-Z-Boy Gallery in the Downs region, and is also pleased to offer an extensive range of Stressless furniture. After 125 years in business, the Rowe family is honoured by the ongoing support of the Downs community, and excited to see what the future holds.

“Bedding has historically been a large part of our business. It has become very competitive of late and we would appreciate the opportunity to remind people we are in that space.”