Total sales slipped month to month, but rose 2.6 percent from January 2013, the bureau said.
Over three months, the November through January stretch posts sales up 3.4 percent higher than the same period a year earlier.
The data released Thursday includes a revision of the November to December sales change, which is now posted as a 0.1 percent drop. It had previously been reported as a 0.2 percent gain.
The bureau said non-store sales -- catalog and online sales -- rose 6.5 percent in January from January 2013. Sales of automobiles and other motor vehicle dealer sales rose 4.1 percent January to January.