|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
Rating: Not Applicable
Globe Union Industrial Corp., Ltd.
No. 22, Chien-Kuo Road
Taichung Export Processing Zone
Globe Union USA
2500 Internationale Parkway
Woodridge, Illinois 60517
Globe Union Canada
4610 Bois Franc
Montreal, QC H4S 1A7
Rating: Not Applicable
Price: Not Applicable
faucets are reviewed separately elsewhere in this index.
Founded in 1979 as a plumbing products and sanitary wares distributor, Globe Union is now an international manufacturer and
one of the world’s largest
suppliers of plumbing and sanitary products to other companies, operating over 5 million square feet of manufacturing, assembly, and distribution facilities located on three Continents and in nine countries. Its products are marketed through a dozen or so company brands worldwide and scores of private brands. The publicly traded company, controlled by the Ou-yang Ming family, is headquartered in Taichung, Taiwan.
Its faucets are made primarily in mainland Chinese factories by its subsidiary Shenzhen Globe Union Industrial Corp. Over 90% of its products are exported to the United States and Europe. In the United States and Canada, the company sells under the trade names listed in the Table 1.
Danze, introduced to the U.S. in 2000, is the brand under which Globe Union has grown a name for itself in the U.S. faucet and decorative fixture market. It has been a tremendous success after a number of false starts and marketing disasters that would have defeated most companies. At very least one must admit that Globe Union has both grit and staying power. And, if those qualities are not worrying its competition, then the competition is not paying close enough attention. Danze has grown to impressive proportions in a little over a dozen years with hundreds of brick and mortar retailers and a strong internet presence.
The brand has been so successful, in fact, that Globe Union appears to have made the decision to throw all of its considerable marketing muscle behind Danze and phase out other, less successful brands.
We can no longer find Ameristream faucets anywhere, although its showers are still available. Plumbers Collection, initially banished to e-Bay, has disappeared entirely in North America, although Globe Union still owns the trade name. Brands such as Corrego and Water Ridge are now for sale only by discounters: Corrego is sold by Sam's Club, and Water Ridge by Costco, although both brands occasionally appear on e-tail venues such as Amazon and e-Bay.
Other Globe Union faucet brands have been merged into the dominant Danze line. The former Fusion Hardware Group, Inc. was disbanded by Globe Union in 2012 after selling its Door Hardware division to Schlage Locks along with the right to the Fusion brand name. All Fusion faucets, including Bella Villa, Colonial Crest, River Rock, Sonoma, South Beach, St. Charles, Samui, Lilly, and Bordeaux, were taken over by Danze. Many of these appeared for a while at deep discounts from internet retailers, then disappeared entirely as existing supplies were exhausted. Fusion faucets are still supported by Globe Union, including parts replacement under warranty.
Still other Globe Union brands have more or less disappeared in the U.S., but are still sold in other places. for example is rarely seen in the U.S. except for sale by internet discounters, but is sold widely in Canada.
Globe Union is one of the dominant faucet manufacturers in Asia under its GOBO brand which it introduced in 1985 in Taiwan, and to mainland China in 1994.
It has grown in size and enlarged its capacities through strategic acquisitions. Its first purchase, Gerber Plumbing Fixtures in 2003, paralleled its acquisition of the state-owned Milim G&G Ceramics Co., Ltd. from the Chinese government. Milim took over most of Gerber's U.S. manufacturing — and the union jobs that went with it — resulting in several lawsuits that Globe Union either won or settled, and a blast of bad publicity for the company. Globe Union kept the well-regarded Gerber brand name and Gerber's extensive North American distribution network. Gerber now has manufacturing facilities in Laredo, Texas; Shenzhen, China; and Weifang, China and distribution centers in Bridgeton, N.J.; Woodridge, Illinois; City of Industry, California; Montreal, Canada; and Weifang, China. Gerber sells faucets under the Gerber name, but as far as we can tell, these are merely rebranded faucets from Globe Unions other faucet lines.
In addition to its proprietary worldwide brands, Globe Union makes faucets for many other faucet companies, including See a more complete list in Table 2. It also provides faucet parts and components to among others.
The company supplies dozens of store-brand faucets for large retailers. Table 3 shows no more than a partial list, which shifts constantly and is probably already inaccurate at the time your read this.
Globe Union has somewhat of a checkered history, and has not always obeyed the rules. It has been accused several times of counterfeiting faucets from other companies, and had to settle with Faucet for pirating Delta's patented ball valve technology or face an International Trade Commission order banning its products from the U.S. But, it has matured as an international trading partner in the past twenty years.
The company is now very meticulous at ensuring that its faucets comply with the laws and regulations applicable to each country in which it does business. In the U.S. and Canada its faucets are certified to comply with all plumbing standards and are accepted by all U.S. and Canada plumbing codes. All Globe Union faucets are also certified lead free under the very rigorous standard required by the Safe Drinking Water Act as of 2014 and may be sold or leased in Canada and "introduced into commerce" in the U.S. The faucets also comply with the separate lead-free laws of Maryland, Louisiana, Vermont and California and may be sold and installed in those states.
Initially Globe Union warranty and parts support was spotty and poorly organized. Through 2005 we received buckets of complaints about not being able to get post-sale customer support and warranty assistance. Initially the big problem was no one knew where to call for support, and when they did finally contact customer support, the quality of the support was iffy at best. Our favorite anecdote was the plumber who very carefully identified the faucet parts he needed to fix a broken Danze lavatory faucet, and received most of a shower through the mail.
But, Globe Union grimly faced the slings and arrows head on, and doggedly set about making things better. Danze now supports its faucets and other products as well as any company selling faucets in North America with a well-organized, well-trained U.S.-based parts and warranty service located in Illinois. Since opening the U.S. center, earlier parts and warranty support problems seem to have largely disappeared. In our last series of tests, Danze customer service scored well for wait times, promptness of response, and product knowledge.
We now assess Globe Union customer service as very good to excellent — approaching the level of Delta and Moen, the acknowledged customer service leaders in the faucet industry. The Better Business Bureau, which for years condemned Globe Union's complaint handling, agrees with our assessment, grading Globe Union A+, the highest score possible, based on having received not a single complaint about the company for three years.
Globe Union not only supports its own brands, but also the house brands it provides to other retailers, so a call to customer support for many Home Depot faucets sold by Lowes is likely to connect you to a Globe Union representative. So far as we can tell, the support for these house brand faucets is just as capable as support for the Globe Union proprietary brands.
If you have experience with a Globe Union faucet, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or leave a comment below.