A knife-wielding robber threatened staff and a customer at a hair salon in St Helens town centre.
Police were called to Divalution on Duke Street at about 6.15pm on Thursday, December 19, after a customer reported a robbery.
A lone offender is believed to have entered the salon armed with a knife and threatened a staff member before demanding cash from the till.
He then demanded cash from a customer and employee before running off towards the Lidl supermarket.
The two victims were not injured, but both women were left extremely shaken having been threatened and ordered into a back room while the offender fled.
The offender is described as a white man in his late 20s who was wearing a grey hooded top with a red logo or markings on the front.
He was also wearing blue jeans and Adidas trainers and may have been carrying a small purple bag containing jewellery, which he is believed to have stolen from the customer.
DI Martin Earl said: “Robberies of this type are rare in St Helens and thankfully no-one has been hurt on this occasion. However, two women have been subjected to a terrifying ordeal where they have been threatened with a knife and ordered to hand over takings and their own personal money and valuables.
“Officers are searching the area for a man matching the description given and I am appealing for anyone who was in the area of Duke Street, at what is a busy time of the evening, to contact us if they saw anything suspicious either just before or just after 6.15pm.
“The force is committed to cracking down on crimes against local businesses and we are doing everything possible to catch this man.”
Witnesses can call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6038, or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.