H&R Block to close 400 stores over lower profits

June 13 (UPI) — H&R Block said Wednesday it will close 400 of its smaller locations — but not cut any jobs — on anticipation of a lower profit margin for the rest of 2018.

That represents about 4 percent of the tax-preparing company’s nearly 10,000 locations in the United States. A spokeswoman said the people who work at those locations were expected to be shifted to nearby stores. All of the closing stores are within 5 miles of other locations.

The company said it expects lower sales through the rest of the year because of the use of home tax software.

H&R Block has its own DIY software, but CEO Jeff Jones told analysts and reporters during a conference call that DIY client sales were down 8 percent.

“Our client retention is very strong, but new client growth is not where we want it to be,” he said adding that the company isn’t as “relevant” as it needs to be.

“By differentiating ourselves and demonstrating why we are the best choice for consumers, we will position H&R Block as a modern brand with momentum.”

Jones said the company plans to invest in allowing customers a seamless transition between filing returns online or getting help in person.