U.S. chain store sales decreased during the fourth week of February because of severe winter weather, a report said Tuesday.

Sales at major U.S. chain stores fell 0.2 percent in the week ended March 1 compared with the same week a year ago, the report said.

Sales declined 2.0 percent in the four weeks ended March 1, compared with the previous month, Instinet Research said in its weekly Redbook report.

"The bad weather during the previous week Presidents Day sales hindered necessary sales momentum to clear remaining fall and winter inventories," the report said.

The Redbook Average is compiled from a sample of general merchandise retailers representing about 9,000 stores. Same-store sales measure revenue at stores open at least a year.

The index is released weekly by Instinet Research, a division of Instinet, a Reuters-owned electronic brokerage.