Outlet centers are a bright spot in the retail sector, with developers clamoring to build. Forty-seven new outlet projects are planned for the next three years. Retailers want to be in outlet centers, which draw bargain-hunting consumers, insiders say. "Outlet centers offer the highest return in real estate by far," said Rich Moore, REIT analyst with RBC Capital Markets. "They're achieving a 10-plus percent yield on cost."

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