Treasure Island was a concept ahead of its time. Begun in the late 1960's, this JCPenney owned discount chain was basically the first supercenter concept ever created. Combining a discount and grocery store, this chain featured uniquely designed stores that were found in major cities across the U.S., but were known as "The Treasury" on the west coast. However, they were only successful in two cities: Atlanta and Cincinnati.
Georgia had four locations of Treasure Island stores, all located immediately off of I-285 except the first mentioned here, which was over a mile from Atlanta's perimeter highway. They were also located on major state highways in high traffic areas. These locations were at the intersection of U.S. 41 (Cobb Parkway) and Terrell Mill Road in Marietta, Buford Highway (GA 13) in Doraville, Memorial Drive (GA 10) near Decatur and Jonesboro Road (GA 54) in Forest Park.
The former location on Jonesboro Road in Forest Park is the most well-preserved location of a Treasure Island. You can also see the original painted over Home Depot sign in the background. The Home Depots were all on the left side of the original floorspace.
Consolidation of the discount store industry became fierce in the 1970's and 1980's following the massive failure of the W.T. Grant chain. This resulted in Treasure Island with its few massive stores having trouble competing with Kmart on steroids and the plethora of other discounters nationwide. Treasure Island was liquidated in 1981, and the vacancy of these stores created an opportunity for a brand new retail chain to emerge in Atlanta...Home Depot. Indeed, Home Depots very first locations were far smaller than today, taking up only a third of the former Treasure Island store space while Zayre initially moved in to take over the rest of the former retailer's floorspace.
The former location on Buford Highway is now a flea market.
In the late 1980's, Home Depot began building bigger and better stores while Zayre went bankrupt and was bought out by Ames. At that point, the Zayre locations were closed and Home Depot, now becoming a national chain, abandoned the original smaller stores. Given their location, these stores also faced decline of the area surrounding them. The most successful of these is the location in Marietta, which still has a Value City in the former Home Depot portion. The last major retailer in the Buford Highway location was an Office Depot, and now a large flea market covers much of the old floorspace. The other two locations are no longer retail with DeKalb County running offices out of the Memorial Drive location and the Atlanta Expo Center filling out the Jonesboro Road location. The Jonesboro Road location is unique in that it is completely unchanged from when it last functioned as a Zayre/Home Depot while the other locations were renovated and modified significantly.
Today, a concept like Treasure Island would be welcomed by many to reintroduce competition to a market completely dominated by only two discount chains, but its parent company JCPenney has mostly abandoned its other largely unsuccessful retail concepts. Its last, a collection of drug store chains including Eckerd, is now under different ownership while JCPenney focuses on its original department stores.