Peekay Boutiques has 20 stores in Washington state and another two dozen from California to Iowa. Many, like this one in Tacoma, are under the Lovers brand. (Peekay Boutique)
The chain, founded in 1982 by Phyliss Heppenstall as a family business, has been owned since 2012 by private equity investors who borrowed heavily to acquire several regional retailers in hopes of building a national franchise. It does business under four names: Christals, Lovers, ConRev and A Touch of Romance.
The company’s debts to its primary lenders, originally $38.2 million, have since grown through unpaid interest and fees to nearly $52 million, according to the Chapter 11 filing by Peekay Acquisition in bankruptcy court in Delaware.