Higher gas prices helped push up gas station sales up 0.7 percent.
But core-retail sales only rose 0.15 percent, the worst showing since January, the report showed.
"The consumer economy is improving but growth rates and retail sales will remain reserved for the foreseeable future,” said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF's chief economist.
"U.S. households have adjusted their spending to a slow-growth economy. With employment and consumer confidence improving, we expect that the second half will be better than the first.”
• Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales decreased 2.2 percent.
• Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales increased 0.7 percent.
• Electronics and appliance stores’ sales decreased 0.1 percent.
• Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 2.4 percent.
• General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.1 percent.
• Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 0.2 percent.
• Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.7 percent.