Our Story

Synonymous
with Service & Quality

Empire Merchants is the premier wine and spirits distributor in the metropolitan New York area with roots going back to the end of Prohibition. With more than 1,500 dedicated employees and state-of-the-art facilities, Empire Merchants has become synonymous with both service and quality and has earned the loyalty of more than 10,000 area restaurants, bars, hotels, nightclubs and retail outlets.

Our centrally located offices and warehouses in Queens and Brooklyn stock over 8,500 unique beverage alcohol products, shipped to us from over 150 global supplier partners. Our sophisticated warehouse management and sortation systems allow us to effortlessly track a single case as it moves through our distribution center and onto a truck for delivery to the trade next business day.

The company was formed in February 2007 through the legal combination of Charmer Industries Inc. and Peerless Importers Inc. in Metro New York. The resulting company, Empire Merchants, is a partnership between Bulldog Ventures Ltd., a company owned by the Magliocco family, and Charmer Industries, Inc., a company owned by the Drucker and Merinoff families.

Our Leadership Team

Eric Pfeil

President/Chief Executive Officer

Tony Magliocco

Chief Operating Officer

Terrence A. Arlotta

Chief Financial Officer

Stephen E. Meresman

Corporate Secretary

David C. Drucker

Executive Vice President, Sales

Sales Division Leadership

David C. Drucker

Executive Vice President, Sales

John Marciano

Vice President, Off-Premise Sales

Sales Leadership: Freedom Division

Fedele Miranda

Executive Vice President, Sales, Freedom Division

Cristian Yanez

Vice President of Sales, Freedom Division

Eric Pfeil

President/Chief Executive Officer

Eric is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with a degree in Business Economics and was formerly the Executive Vice President of Breakthru Beverage of Florida. His responsibilities included overseeing all sales, sales execution, finance, pricing & programming, supplier relations, retail & on-premise chains, operations, human resources, events and data analytics. During his 16-year tenure at Premier Beverage, now Breakthru Beverage, Eric held multiple leadership positions, including General Sales Manager for South Florida, and Vice President of Sales.

Eric’s career in the wine and spirits industry spans many years including prior management roles both domestically and internationally. At the E & J Gallo Winery, he was a Regional Manager in Texas, managing all sales and chain activity for Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. From there, he moved to Tokyo, Japan to be the Sales Director for E&J Gallo Japan, where he managed over a million cases of Gallo in both the chains and the local independents. In Japan, Eric managed a Japanese sales team of over 100 sales reps and managers, as well as over 40 wholesalers nationwide. His industry experience also includes his work as General Manager of Johnson Brothers Liquor Company Tampa, Florida managing over 2 million cases of Gallo, as well as his work as Vice President of Republic Beverage‘s Texas Wine Company, where he started an organization that included the first statewide chain team, statewide pricing and programming and managing all the Republic/Block/Schepps Suppliers on a statewide basis.

Terrence A. Arlotta

Chief Financial Officer

Terrence is the Chief Financial Officer at Empire Merchants. He holds both a B.S. and a M.B.A. in Accounting from St. John’s University in New York. Terry joined Peerless Importers in 1974 as an Assistant Controller for the company, and in 1980 became the Controller for the company. In 1984, he was promoted again to CFO of Peerless Importers. Terry’s 40-plus years of experience in both Accounting and Operations in the Wine and Spirits industry is a valuable asset to Empire’s executive committee.

Tony Magliocco

Chief Operating Officer

Tony is Empire Merchants’ Chief Operating Officer. Tony led the effort to consolidate Empire’s multiple warehouses with the implementation of a software system and a process-improvement plan that enables Empire to ship over 8.5 million cases annually. Prior to joining Empire, Tony was the Executive Vice President of Peerless Importers (1999—2007) and is a third-generation family member. At Peerless, Tony led Sales and Operations, implemented a state-of-the-art carton sortation system and an Oracle ERP system, and was instrumental in the consolidation at Peerless of several global Wine and Spirit suppliers. Prior to his role as Executive Vice President of Peerless Importers, Tony was an investment banker at Furman Selz, LLC and Bear, Stearns & Co., specializing in mergers and acquisitions, as well as debt and equity financings. Tony received a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in accounting and finance from New York University.

Stephen E. Meresman

Corporate Secretary

Stephen is the Corporate Secretary for Empire Merchants and is a member of the Executive Committee. Steve was the Chief Financial Officer of Charmer Industries from 1988 to 2006. In addition to his Charmer experience, he has served other companies in various financial positions. Steve is a certified public accountant in New York and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business from New York University.

David C. Drucker

Executive Vice President, Sales

David Drucker is the Executive Vice President of Sales and a member of both the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Empire Merchants, LLC. In his sales role, he oversees all sales and marketing for the Empire Merchants side of the house.

A native of Long Island, David obtained a BS from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and then continued on to Hofstra University School of Law for his JD. David started his law career at Dickstein Shapiro LLP as an associate in the Corporate and Finance group focusing on corporate law. He then moved to Sidney Frank Importing Company as Legal Counsel.

David then returned to the business side, joining his family business, Premier Beverage of Florida. In February 2007, as the merger of Peerless Importers and Charmer Industries was underway, David returned to New York to join Empire Merchants where he was instrumental in establishing the sales structure and fostering his relationships with suppliers. Since 2007, David has held various sales roles including overseeing the Vintage, Empire Merchants Wines, Empire Merchants Wine and Spirits, and Big Apple selling divisions. David’s passion for this business comes through in everything he does.

John Marciano

Vice President, Off-Premise Sales

John started his career in the Wine and Spirit industry in 1994 in retail. John worked several years in both the on- and off-premise channels before joining the supplier tier at Prestige Wine Imports. John then joined Peerless Importers and held several positions, including Wine Specialist, Field Sales Manager and General Manager of off-premise wines. In 2004, John joined Charmer Industries and held various positions until 2005, when he was appointed General Sales Manager of R&R marketing in New Jersey. After 18 months, he rejoined Charmer Industries in New York, leading the Greater Metropolitan Division. After the creation of Empire Merchants, John was instrumental in setting up and leading the Gotham Division as the director of sales. In 2011, John was promoted to General Manager, and then Executive General Manager in 2012. He was promoted to Vice President, Sales, in 2015. Currently, John holds the position of Vice President of Off-Premise sales. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Manhattan College, and his experience at all three tiers of the beverage alcohol system proves to be a valuable asset to Empire Merchants.

Fedele Miranda

Executive Vice President, Sales, Freedom Division

Fedele Miranda is a graduate of Seton Hall University and has completed the Wharton School of Business Executive Education program in both Finance and Marketing.

He began his career in the industry in the Peerless Importers warehouse during his college summers. Upon graduation he worked as a merchandiser for Schenley Imports before moving back to Peerless Importers. He has worked in both the on-premise and off-premise channels and in every sales management position within the company. From September 2002 to February 2007 he served as the General Manager of Peerless Merchants, a separate sales division of Peerless Importers. From February 2007 to 2015, he served as Executive General Manager of Empire Merchants, where he helped create and implement the sales structure of the newly formed company. He was promoted to Vice President, Sales, in 2015. Fedele has been responsible for the Diageo and Moët Hennessy business since 2016.

Fedele is an active participant in his community. His charity work includes the Northern Westchester Hospital Sudden Infant Death Syndrome campaign and the Nassau/Suffolk Services for Autism, which helps educate children who are autistic. He was the recipient of the 2004 Man of the Year Award from the Long Island Salesman Club to aid mentally disabled children. He was also chosen as the 2005 Man of the Year on behalf of the Israel Defense Forces to aid the brave soldiers of Israel. In 2006, he was recognized by the Food and Beverage Association of America as Purveyor of the Year, and in 2007 he was awarded the Man of the Year by the Boys’ Town of Italy to help raise awareness for educational programs to prepare young men and women for responsible citizenship.

Cristian Yanez

Vice President of Sales, Freedom Division

Cristian Yanez is the Vice President of the Freedom Division at Empire Merchants. He began his career at Molinos, which is Argentina’s largest branded foods product company, as a product manager. He then ventured into the wine and spirit industry and began his career at Moet Hennessy Argentina as the Chandon Brand Manager. In 2007, he moved his family to the United States and spent the next 9 years of his career at Moet Hennessy USA in various sales and marketing roles culminating in his promotion to the Vice President of the Moet Hennessy Wine Division. At MHUSA, Cristian had the responsibility for all Moet Hennessy owned wine brands and all agency brands. During his 18-year tenure with MHUSA, Cristian has had many successes both in Argentina and the United States. His design and implementation of the Trade Marketing platform in addition to the tremendous growth of the wine portfolio and Chandon sparkling wines are among some of his successes. Prior to joining Empire, Cristian has spent the last 4 years at Breakthru Beverage Group as the Vice President of Business Development for the United Division Corporate team, where he was instrumental in strengthening the collaboration between Moet Hennessy USA and the United Division. Cristian was responsible for the Moet Hennessy business in Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Washington DC, and New York. Cristian is a graduate of Buenos Aires Institute of Technology.

Dear Valued Customer,
The health and safety of our employees and customers continues to be our top priority every day, but especially during the COVID-19 Coronavirus. We are fortunate thus far to have been able to operate in this environment and continue to support our customers by taking orders and making deliveries.
We have taken some key steps to support the health and welfare of our customers and employees. These are just a few of them:
• We have enhanced our cleaning procedures in our offices and warehouses per the CDC guidelines.
• All delivery drivers and warehouse workers have been instructed to use gloves, masks and hand sanitizer.
• Our facilities managers are installing HEPA filters throughout our buildings to help reduce the presence of COVID-19 in the air.
• Daily screening, which includes a temperature check and a health screening assessment is a requirement for all associates and visitors
• Social distancing must be maintained between individuals at all times
• Face masks or an acceptable face covering must be worn in common areas including lobbies and when traveling around the office.
Due to the circumstances related to COVID-19, you may experience longer than expected wait times when reaching out to our Customer Service and COD departments. Additionally, there may be a possible delay in your deliveries. We are working diligently to handle your orders and customer service needs as quickly as possible.
Throughout this uncertain time, we are thinking about all of you and will keep you informed if anything should change in the upcoming days or weeks. You will find updates on our website.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this time.