Police are hunting a knife-wielding man who robbed a Hastings superette yesterday - less than a week after the shop was burgled by four youths.

The balaclava wearing offender entered Four Square Frimley holding a knife about 12.10pm before threatening owner Derek Stannard. No one else was in the store at the time and the offender made off with a small amount of cash.

While he was "very shaken" by the incident, Mr Stannard declined to speak to media.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Darren Pritchard said no one was injured in the incident.

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The store owners were honest, hardworking people who had been victimised twice in a short period of time, Mr Pritchard said.

Just last weekend, the store was burgled by four youths who were apprehended during the burglary.

"They [the store owners] don't deserve it."

A spokeswoman for the owners of the store confirmed there had been "a couple of other incidents in the past year that the police have dealt with".

The knife-wielding robber was last seen running on to Nottingley Rd, which was about 50 metres from the store.

Security camera footage released to Hawke's Bay Today showed the suspect, who appeared to be male and of an athletic build, entering and jumping onto the counter before fleeing.

He wore a dark balaclava, a grey long-sleeved shirt, dark track paints and white sneakers and carried a chiller bag.

Two women, who did not wish to be named but lived nearby, heard about the robbery after visiting the store shortly after the incident.

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"We didn't see anything, but we love these people, they have had a rough time. I feel very sorry for them," one said.

Another Frimley resident said it was normally a quiet place to live but knew the business had been targeted before.

"They have only been here just over 12 months, Frimley really needed something like this, it would be a shame to see them go because of what's happened.

"With the retirement home going in, it would be well-used."

Staff at a neighbouring hair salon said they did not think Frimley was an unsafe place to do business.

Mr Pritchard urged anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area at the time of the incident or with information on the identity of the offender to contact the police or phone the Crimestoppers line.