The history of Peekay, Inc., began back in 1981 when founder Phyllis Heppenstall and her daughter Kris Butt formed a small in-home party program. From there, their company rapidly grew to include more than 30 retail stores, an Internet retail site and a wholesale division. However, the main element of Peekay's business continues to be its retail segment. The company currently operates three different chains of stores on the West Coast: Lovers Package; A Touch of Romance; and Condom Revolution.
Peekay, Inc., stores cater to women and couples who have an interest in romance.
"We pride ourselves on that fact that we are great retailers, not adult stores," said Heppenstall. "All of our stores are in good locations where women and couples feel comfortable."
Education is one of the hallmarks of Peekay, Inc. Heppenstall feels that there is a void in the market and that through her stores, she can reach out to customers.
"There is a lot of focus on employee training and providing information that makes people feel more comfortable and help them make better decisions."
While customer education is a big priority of the company, Peekay's stores look nothing like classrooms. The company carries styles from all the big names, such as Shirley of Hollywood, Dreamgirl and Forplay.
Rona Bonilla, a lingerie buyer for Peekay, Inc., has a large order to fill because each of the chains caters to a slightly different market. While Lovers Package attracts women and couples, A Touch of Romance draws in younger clients, and Condom Revolution stores have smaller square-footage and fewer apparel products.
"Requested products are pretty much all over the board," said Bonilla. "Typically babydolls and two-piece bra and panty sets with open bra cups and sheer fabrics are popular. The sexier the better."
Between the three stores, customers can browse lingerie from Shirley of Hollywood, clubwear from Forplay and shoes from Ellie.
"We have celebrated over 25 years of business and have seen lots and lots of things change," said Heppenstall. "It's an exciting time and I've always been excited about the business. We have lots of opportunity to move up and are seeing some really great growth. Right now we're only at the top of the iceberg."