A Hucknall Co-op store was raided by masked men on Monday night.
The three men entered the Watnall Road store at 9.40pm, jumped over the counter and stole a large amount of cigarettes from a display.
They then used a crowbar to force open the till and steal cash before fleeing the scene in a silver or grey Ford Mondeo.
No-one was injured in the incident.
Police believe that at least one of the men was white, and are asking if anyone saw them or the Ford Mondeo.
“This is a frightening attack on a store at the heart of our community,” said Insp Nick Butler. “The staff were extremely frightened and will have to live with the effects of the attack for a long time to come.
“We won’t rest until the perpertrators are brought to justice and want to appeal to the public for their help.
“We have also increased patrols in Hucknall and the surrounding areas specifically to protect shops and places selling cigarettes.”
The store was raided just before closing time on Monday night and remained closed until Tuesday when it reopened at 1pm.
A spokesman for The Co-operative Food said that staff at the store were shaken by the incident.
“No one was hurt in the incident, although staff on duty were left badly shaken. CCTV footage has been given to the police and, as with any incident such as this, we would appeal for anyone with information to come forward.”
Call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting incident number 887 of 10 February.