Wal-Mart Plans Hurt Jackson Hewitt

PARSPPANY, N.J. - Wal-Mart's decision to remodel its smaller stores put a crimp in the plans for tax chain Jackson Hewitt's expansion because the new design can't accommodate the tax business facilities in several Wal-Mart locations during the next filing season, while its revenue could also be impacted by its banking partners considering lowering interest rates on refund anticipation loans.

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Meanwhile, the company said it also plans to launch its first online tax preparation program, although it gave no details about when the program would be introduced. These statements came as Jackson Hewitt reported results for the first quarter ended July 31. According to its SEC filings, the tax chain will operate in 1,500 to 1,750 Wal-Mart stores, but did not detal how many locations will be affected by the new design.. The company also stated it had learned of "potential structural changes under consideration with respect to the offering of RAL and Assisted Refund products by certain of our bank partners, including lowering the APR in the RAL program." The agreements, under which the banks pay Jackson Hewitt a fixed fee for offering and administering bank products, expire on Oct. 31, 2010.

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