If the closest distance between two people is a smile, as the pianist Victor Borge once suggested, then wouldn’t a smile be the shortest path to a sale? Many retailers are beginning to believe so, apparently. Several major chains, including Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and J.C. Penney, are redirecting their spending to accommodate the customer experience. In what can be considered a throwback to traditional retail values, they are redirecting their money from store numbers and operations to the staff that deals directly with their shoppers. The move is clearly designed to improve sales (Wal-Mart has previously invested $2.7 billion in employee incentives). However, these efforts are also likely designed to boost recruitment and retention during an economic upswing that presents more employee competition. At the root of this challenge is employee turnover. The number of unemployed Americans per job opening in September 2016 ranked at nearly its lowest since the start of 2001 — 1.4, according to Employee Benefit Adviser, citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Put in a way Borge might have said it: Retailers, in their fight for good talent, are trying to create more customer-facing harmony. Read more at Forbes.