Local News

Corporate Concierge Buys Time for Downtown Employees

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RALEIGH — Imagine having a personal errand service to pick up your dry cleaning, take your car to the shop, even wait at your house for a repairman. It sounds like a luxury, but a Raleigh office complex offers those services to its tenants for free.

Southern Hospitality's Carol White says the service provides "just about anything you can think of as long as it's legal. We can pick up individual items, do courier work, deliver gift baskets. We can get tickets to theater or events."

Southern Hospitality runs the concierge service out of the lobby of a building on the Fayetteville Street Mall.

Jayme Archer makes regular deliveries for a collection service in the building. Archer's is one of fifteen businesses that uses the concierge.

"It's very helpful because it saves me time," client Joyce English says. "It saves office personnel time because we'd have to be running out to do it. Now they are, and they're taking that burden away from me."

Their landlord pays the concierge as part of an effort to keep businesses in downtown Raleigh. "I think people are still a little hesitant to come to downtown Raleigh due to the parking," says Lisa McCoy. "This is like an amenity that we can add to keep them downtown, as well as add new companies downtown."

Busy professionals say the innovative perk buys them one thing you can never have too much of -- a little extra time in the day.

The idea is already a hit in big cities like Washington, D.C.