The country’s biggest grocery-store chain is planning to create what will be one of the biggest real-estate investment trusts (REIT).

Loblaw said it is planning the REIT in a bid to unlock shareholder value of its properties.

The company has upward of 47-million square-feet of real estate, potentially worth upward of $7 billion . Executives feel that property is not being reflected in its stock-market value, however.

To improve that, it is planning to put more than $7-billion worth of that property into a real-estate investment trust, which will be spun-off in an initial public offering (IPO).

Loblaw will then lease back the space in long-term deals.

Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited, said the move will help the grocery chain focus on its core business in what is a highly-competitive market.

Loblaw stock, year-to-date, is down approximately 12 per cent.