The 0.3 percent rise followed a downward revised drop of 0.6 in January, the sharpest decline since July of 2012.
Stripping out automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, so-called core sales rose 0.3 percent.
Sales excluding automobiles were also up by 0.3 percent.
Total sales for the December 2013 through February 2014 period were up 2.3 percent from the same period a year ago. The December 2013 to January 2014 percent change was revised from -0.4 percent to -0.6 percent.
Nonstore retailers were up 6.3 percent from February 2013 and health and personal care stores were up 5.5 percent from last year.