A suit-wearing thief had a conversation about high quality wine with a Melbourne bottle shop cashier before apologising for having to rob the store.

The well-dressed thief wore a grey pinstripe suit and gold rings when he robbed two shops on Nicholson Street, in Melbourne's inner north, last Monday.

Police say he had a discussion with a bottle shop clerk about high quality wine, then implied he had a gun and robbed the store of cash and alcohol.

About 15 minutes later, the man threatened a newsagent with a flick-knife, and stole cash and cigarettes.

He apologised on both occasions and promised the bottle shop attendant he would repay the money, police said.

Detective Senior Constable Sean Schimizzi said the man had made no attempt to conceal his identity.

"The clothing worn by this man is quite unusual. He's been quite brazen," he told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.

"He remained composed through both incidents."

The man is about 175cm tall, of Middle Eastern appearance, and was wearing a black shirt, grey tie and grey skate shoes.

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