Armed police were called to the Post Office on Hylton Road at 4.50pm today after a report that two men - one carrying a firearm - had entered the building.
The pair approached the counter and demanded the male staff member hand over money.
He refused and one of the men then discharged the weapon before the men fled the store empty handed. A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Thankfully nobody was injured during the incident but the staff member was understandably distressed."
Man in life-threatening condition after 'serious collision' involving car and pedestrian in South Shields
Pair set up cannabis farm in town centre flat
South Shields man jailed for terrifying physical and sexual assault on woman in her own home
Met Office announces yellow weather warning for thunderstorms across North East following heatwave
Campaigners rally against Local Plan after farmland in Cleadon earmarked for 156 homes
It is understood there were some customers in the Post Office at the time but nobody was injured and there was no hostage situation.
Extra patrols are being carried out in the area and a section of Hylton Road is closed. Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the robbery to get in touch. The first man is described as white, around 5ft 10in tall, of stocky build and aged in his early 20s. He was wearing a grey hooded jacket with a white hood and dark tracksuit bottoms. The second man was white, around 5ft 11in tall, aged in his early to mid 20s. He was wearing a beige hoody covering his head and face and light tracksuit bottoms. It is believed the men may have left the area in a silver Vauxhall Vectra car heading in the direction of Pennywell. Anyone who saw the men in the area at the time, or has information that could help police, can contact officers on 101 quoting log 768 16/01/17.