Sales at U.S. chain stores rose, though at a slower pace than the previous week, as retailers began clearing out seasonal items, a report said Tuesday.

Sales at major retailers increased by 2.6 percent on a year-over-year basis for the week ended July 17, down from the preceding week's 2.8 percent pace, said Redbook Research (search), an independent company. Sales in July so far were down 0.6 percent compared with June.

Food and household goods sold well in the latest week, although rainy weather continued to ward off shoppers.

"Most stores said routine clearance was going according to plan and without the need for extensive price-cutting given tight inventories," the report said.

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