U.S. chain store sales rose for the fifth consecutive week, due to shopper appetite for post-holiday clearance sales and redemption of gift-cards, a report said on Tuesday.

"Stores generally lagged behind their sales targets for most of the month, but the surge in business in the final week was sufficient to put many ahead of plan," the report said.

Sales at major retailers rose by 5.2 percent on a year-over-year basis for the week ended Jan. 1, said Redbook Research (search), an independent company. Sales in December were up 0.2 percent compared with November.

"Looking forward, January is transitional and promotional with merchants focused on clearing holiday and winter goods in order to make room for spring goods," the report said.

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.