Sales growth at U.S. chain stores has slowed as Father's Day (search) failed to inspire shoppers as it once did, a Redbook Research (search) report said Tuesday.

Sales at major retailers increased by 4.7 percent on a year-over-year basis for the week ended June 19, down from the preceding week's 4.8 percent pace, said Redbook Research, an independent company. Sales so far in June were up 0.4 percent compared with May.

"Father's Day business was mediocre. It appears the event has declined in importance and no longer plays as crucial a role for the season," the report said. "Some retailers are claiming that higher gasoline prices are slowing consumer spending."

Discount merchants noted that the payroll cycle had again become evident in their business, with sales volume increasing after people received their bimonthly wage checks. "This is typically caused by consumer illiquidity," the report said.

The most active merchandise categories were consumer staples, garden, home improvement equipment, toys and food.

The Redbook data are compiled from a sample of same-store sales at general merchandise retailers representing about 9,000 stores. Same-store sales (search) measure revenue at stores open at least one year.