H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) comes under fire from time to time, and this morning may be an image-changing announcement. The tax preparation service provider is going to start providing tax preparation services in approximately 300 Wal-Mart locations for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
The pact is only a month out as the plan calls for these services at Kiosks starting in December. What will seem ironic is that H&R Block noted some 11,000 offices in its press release, so this will not even add 3% to the total locations.
Some expansion moves make sense. This might be a good way for H&R Block to get its name out there in more locations and to recruit new clients, but a professional and financial services firm is taking a risk by going inside Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart’s current labor criticisms grow then the companies doing business with Wal-Mart will start to come under fire as well.
Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU) currently sells its TurboTax, Quicken, and QuickBooks software packages at Wal-Mart. It would be unlikely for that to end.
Hopefully Wal-Mart won’t open up kiosks for divorce and personal injury lawyers as well.
JON C. OGG