Police are searching for a young male who held up the Creagh St Store in Napier with a knife on Thursday.
The incident happened about 8pm when he walked into the shop wielding a boning knife and began to threaten the assistant.
When his demands for money were not heeded he turned and left empty-handed - but not before being caught on camera.
Police said the male had also been seen loitering outside the dairy beforehand. No one was injured during the attempted robbery.
The robber was described as a male caucasian, wearing black jeans, large aviator sunglasses and a black hoodie pulled up over his head. It's estimated he was in his late teens or early 20s, 5ft8 tall, of medium build with reddish blonde hair.
Police want to speak to anyone who may have seen him on Te Awa Ave before the robbery or inside the shop about 8pm.
If you have any information, please phone Detective Jeff Foley on (06) 831 0700 or leave an anonymous tip by calling Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111.