NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Dillard's ( DDS) is one of the biggest retail gainers Thursday morning, after the department store announced its plans to form a REIT unit. The company said in a filing that it will form a real estate investment trust to enhance its ability to access debt or preferred stock. REITs were designed to give individuals a way to capitalize on profitable real estate. Dillard's has also formed a wholly-owned unit intended to serve as a captive insurance company. Dillard's has been outpacing its department store peers amid the economic recovery, with third-quarter earnings surging 80%. Shares of Dillard's are spiking 14.6% to $42.90 early in the day. --Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jeanine Poggi. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jpoggi. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.