Two masked men, armed with a handgun, have robbed a Co-op store in Chelmsford of a four-figure sum of money.
The raid took place at the Barnard Road store at 0600 BST on Sunday when the men forced the 30-year-old male shop assistant into the back room.
He was assaulted and made to open the safe and a substantial sum of cash, amounting to four figures, was stolen.
The shop assistant was taken to hospital where he was treated and released for his injuries.
It is not known if the men were on foot or had a vehicle parked nearby, said police.
Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen two men in the vicinity of the Co-op prior to the robbery.