U.S. chain store sales rose modestly compared to last year, supported by results from discounters, though department stores generally struggled to regain momentum following Hurricane Isabel (search), Instinet Research said in its Redbook report (search) Tuesday.

Sales at major retailers grew 3.2 percent in the week ended Sept. 27 compared with the same week a year ago, after rising 2.6 percent in the preceding week, the report said.

Sales fell 1.3 percent in the September month-to-date compared with August, the report said.

Discount stores led other retailers with sales of everyday items, suggesting the lack of a seasonal trend. Fall apparel and Halloween items are expected to boost sales in the near future.

The Redbook data are compiled from a sample of same-store sales (search) at general merchandise retailers representing about 9,000 stores. Same-store sales measure revenue at stores open at least one year. The index is released weekly by Instinet Research, a division of Instinet, a Reuters-owned electronic brokerage.