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DDR Corp. (DDR - Analyst Report) disclosed the opening of 12 new outlets of Ulta Beauty – the namesake brand of Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (ULTA - Snapshot Report) – at its 12 prime power centers by this year-end. The move will help DDR strengthen its relationship with Ulta and enhance the value of the shopping centers.

The 12 shopping centers in which Ulta will open its outlets are The Commons in Md.; Belgate Shopping Center and Cotswold Village in N.C.; Belden Park Crossings, Springfield Commons and Great Northern Plazas in Ohio; Cotswold Village in Va.; Connecticut Commons in Conn.; The Family Center at Fort Union in Utah; Aspen Grove in Colo.; The Marketplace at Delta Township in Mich.; and The Promenade at Brentwood in Mo.

As a matter of fact, these stores will be the opened in DDR’s core power centers, especially through a combination of small shop consolidation, new construction and backfilling of low performing tenants.

Notably, as of now, 6 of the 12 Ulta stores have been opened, with the remaining stores slated to open in the remainder of 2013. Upon completing the store openings, Ulta’s stores will be in 43 locations across DDR’s portfolio.

With the latest store openings to take place, Ulta is now among DDR's top 25 tenants in terms of annual base rent. We expect the above-mentioned deal to enhance this leading retail real estate investment trust’s (REIT) top-line growth prospects and consequently drive earnings going forward. 

DDR currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other well-performing retail REITs includes Acadia Realty Trust (AKR - Snapshot Report) and Cedar Realty Trust, Inc. (CDR - Snapshot Report). Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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