Around one year ago, with a partner involved in the business, the Rarotonga ITM brand was added to CIBS. This trial rebranding involved developing network relations with regional ITM teams in the northern part of New Zealand, as well as the ITM group’s headquarters. ITM stands for Independent Timber Merchants, and is a group of independent building supplies stores and merchants incorporated throughout New Zealand.
However, in September last year, CIBS returned solely to Wichman’s ownership and he is now keen to return to the significant building suppliers services and products he has been providing throughout the Cook Islands for the last 20 years.
A spokesperson for the business said in a letter responding to Wichman’s application in October, Mr Harrison, ITM’s general operations manager had said the addition of offshore ITM-branded stores did not fit ITM’s current strategy to optimise networks within New Zealand.
An exit strategy is currently in progress, and will be completed by the end of next month, with the change back of all signage to Cook Islands Building Supplies.
“For Wichman and his team in Panama it will be business as usual, with Cook Islands Building Supplies being a vital building materials supplier to the people of the Cook Islands,” the spokesperson said.