History of Grupo HD

Andrés Domínguez , Managing Director of Grupo HD

All great stories deserve to be told...

The story of Grupo HD is the story of all those who taught me that effort, humility and affection are the key to success. But if this story is about anyone, it is about my grandparents: Abraham and, of course, my grandmother, Yaya Esperanza.


It was the late 1940s and Gran Canaria was becoming a very important port flagship for the country. It was at that time that our history began in the beloved neighbourhood of Schamann.


A humble beginning

My grandparents, owners of some crops in the municipality of Teror, saw the opportunity to sell what the land in the centre of the island generated in the capital, and that is how our family joined the merchants' guild for good. Selling their crops in a small shop in Pio Coronado de Schamann street, a neighbourhood that was known for welcoming families from the north who had decided to try their luck in the city.


With those first trips between Teror and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, my grandfather Abraham and my Yaya Esperanza laid the first stone of what today is Grupo HD. They started with all the effort and enthusiasm with which a modest family starts its first project. They opened a small oil and vinegar shop which was the setting in which my father and uncles grew up, surrounded by an atmosphere of love, tradition, hard work and trust.


My uncle José Abraham, my father Andrés, and my aunt Obdulia, who was still a baby, began to be part of the visible face of a small bazaar in the capital that gained the trust of the neighbours. But it wasn't long before the death of my grandfather Abraham came to change everyone's story. My grandmother was left alone with two young men and a very young girl, and the matriarch of the family, Yaya Esperanza, carried on the business and her three children with all her remaining strength.


My uncle and my father quickly learned to manage the shop while Obdulia grew up under the watchful eye of my grandmother, her siblings and everyone who passed by, as it is said that Obdulia practically learned to walk among customers, products and my grandparents' counter.


They say that when you see a way of life day after day, it becomes a mantra, and that is how my family learned to work together.


The message that today represents Grupo HD; "a great company made up of teams of professionals who work as a family", was born in this shop.  With the effort, affection and dedication of José Abraham and my father Andrés, a simple oil and vinegar shop was transformed into what shortly afterwards became the first Hermanos Domínguez supermarket.


In the 1970s, our city was consolidating as an important centre of international trade. The bazaars were betting on expanding their catalogues with products imported from abroad. Latin American products were making a strong entrance into Canarian homes. And obviously, for those who had grown up selling local products, this was a moment of growth that could not be missed.


Spectacular growth

It was then, in 1974, that the first supermarket was created. The business grew exponentially, attracting a large number of people who came to the supermarket seduced by the prices and the quality of the products on offer.


And between "sale and sale", love also appeared. My mother, Consuelo, and my aunt Carmen joined the family by marrying Andrés and José Abraham respectively. They were an active part of the company's growth from the very beginning. As well as my uncle Francisco who married Obdulia and joined the work of growing the family business. All of them did not hesitate to work tirelessly to consolidate the company, and the third generation of Domínguez did not take long to arrive.


In 1985, the 900 square metres of the supermarket saw the birth of another project: the first HiperDino on the island.

Located in the Miller Bajo neighbourhood, its more than 3,000 square metres were my home and everyone in it was part of the family with whom I spent every day. In the 80s, the city was a reality that already smelled of Europe on all four sides.


YUDAYA comes into play

The south of the island was experiencing an explosion of tourism and this meant that imports were increasing and it was at the end of this decade when YUDAYA was founded in 1988, the company that would give shape to Grupo HD.

With this step forward, and seeing the opportunity that my family had to enter fully into the real estate world, they began to create what is today one of the most important shopping centres in the archipelago: the Las Arenas Shopping Centre.


It was at this point in our history that a key person for our family came into the business, a person who is essential for understanding our business development. Javier Puga Santana.


At that time Javier was a Canarian auditor with experience in the world of international mergers and acquisitions, and he joined the team with an overwhelming force. His open and mediating nature immediately made him my father's and my uncle's right-hand man, and he soon became the managing director of the new real estate branch, which was very successful in a very short period of time. Shortly afterwards, he became deputy general manager of the Group (food and real estate), and today he is a point of reference as CEO and businessman for all of us.


We are still in the nineties, a time of splendour for tourism in the Canary Islands. And with it, both my uncle and my father decided to sell HiperDino in 1996, and to focus their objectives on the change in the real estate paradigm that was taking place on the island. At that time they had three supermarkets and the investment fund Vista Capital, in which Banco Santander had a stake, bought them through the company Superdiplo, which already owned other establishments outside the islands.


Going for the hotel sector

In 1997 they decided to buy the Hotel Parque Cristóbal in Gran Canaria and the Aparthotel Las Arenas in Costa Teguise. Later they bought land in Playa Blanca with the aim of creating a hotel and a "fishing village". My uncle and my father closed the circle in 1999 by buying another Hotel Parque Cristobal, this time in Tenerife. Despite the purchase, they determined that other entrepreneurs would continue to operate them. During the 1990s, tourism in the Canary Islands was consolidated as the main source of economic wealth in the autonomous community.


That oil and vinegar shop was the cornerstone on which Grupo HD began to be built. And the children of grandfather Abraham and Yaya Esperanza kept that spirit in every decision they made, and soon the hotels began to produce good results. The breakthrough came in 2004 when Grupo HD began to directly operate the hotels they had acquired years before. Thus it was that same year that the hotel sector's journey began with the opening of the HD Pueblo Marinero hotel in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote. An island which, despite arriving later than Gran Canaria and Tenerife on the tourist scene, was already showing signs of the excellent destination it is today. Just one year later, the same was done with the two Parque Cristóbal resorts, both in Gran Canaria and Tenerife.


At the beginning of the first decade of the 2000s, the Canary Islands were already consolidated as one of the best tourist destinations on the planet and in 2011, the refurbishment of the Aparthotel Las Arenas in Lanzarote began, which was renamed the HD Beach Resort & Spa hotel, causing an enormous change within the company.


In the years that followed, the real estate crisis left millions of families stricken because many of the businesses had not managed to survive the global debacle. But Abraham and Esperanza forged a family mantra: effort, effort, effort. At that time, hotels saw full board as an ideal rate for those families who made the decision to travel on holiday and we bet big on it.


"Family" had always been everything to us, and I don't just mean blood ties, but the "family concept".  Something that is still alive and well and that has spread to the team that worked with us, and also to our way of understanding the client. Always family.


Back to the origins

It may be this feeling that led us to buy back Dinosol in 2011. In November of that year, the Domínguez and Javier Puga brothers acquired the company with a lot of effort and hard work, and from that moment on our expansion began in earnest.


More than 15 years away from our origins, it was time to recover what gave us our identity, to close the circle. A circle that today is made up of more than 228 distribution establishments throughout the Canary Islands, as well as the online supermarket hiperdino.es and the DinoShop shops.


The result of hard work, the culture of effort and the passion of Abraham and Esperanza together with the dream of two children who grew up in an oil and vinegar shop in Pío Coronado street is what has brought us to this point. Today, the third generation has a crucial role to play: to grow the family legacy in order to pass it on tomorrow in the name of our ancestors to the next generations.


A hopeful future

From that moment (2011) until today, we can narrate 9 years of hard work, growth and expansion, with important stories such as the evolution of HiperDino and its brands. The creation of the DinoSol Foundation. The construction and management of Alisios, the largest shopping centre in the Canary Islands. The digitalisation of the company. Hotel refurbishment. The purchase of the Acuario LifeStyle hotel in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria... And so we come to our present moment. Where COVID 19 has come to test us as a society.


We have learned that in adversity, values become important. The moments we have lived through this 2020 have made us reflect on what we are and what we want to be. It is in these difficult times that values are crucial, and ours are the same values that were at the origins of the group, in that oil and vinegar shop that my family opened in Schamann in 1947. The same ones that our grandparents Abraham and Esperanza instilled in us.


Looking back, we are proud to realise that all the Grupo HD business units preserve and share these values. They guide our actions and our relationship with our customers, our suppliers and, of course, with all the employees of the group. That great family that we all make up.


Since that oil and vinegar shop we have grown, and grown a lot, becoming the big family we are today. A family with more than 8,400 members, with development in sectors as diverse as food, tourism, property management and innovation. Now more than ever we want to show ourselves as a strong and united group that maintains its values of responsibility towards Canarian society. Because the history of Grupo HD is written hand in hand with the Canarian society that we love so much.


We will continue to work to preserve our brands and the jobs they generate, and we will do so as always, as a family. With respect, responsibility, dedication and commitment, just as my grandparents would like to see.



Andrés Domínguez

Chief Executive Officer of Grupo HD

Share on your social networks