Marlborough people have rallied in support of dairy owner Henry Huang during the past two days.
Since a man tried to rob his store in Maxwell Rd, Blenheim, on Sunday morning he has received overwhelming support.
"Customers have brought us flowers and chocolates to cheer us up," Mr Huang said yesterday.
"We saw on the surveillance video that after I ran out of the store the robber did try and pull out the hammer [from his bag] but it kept getting stuck. He also tried to open the cash register but did not know how and ran out of the shop."
He hoped that having the surveillance photo of the man in the Express and on its website would help catch him.
"Someone has to recognise him - Blenheim isn't that big," he said.
Mr Huang was still jumpy yesterday when people went into the store, but hoped it would get better with time.
"I am still shaken up and not comfortable leaving my wife or employees at the store, I worry about them."
Police said the man was a large Polynesian with black frizzy hair in a ponytail.
He is thought to be about 1.8 metres (6 feet) tall and has a large nose.
He had on white-rimmed sunglasses, a black hoodie and black shoes and was carrying what looked to be a woman's black bag.
Anyone who recognised the man or had any information are asked to call Blenheim police on 03 578 5279 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- The Marlborough Express