A group of large U.S. retailers reported higher sales for July, but the stores had to resort to bargains to lure shoppers who are still careful in their spending, Reuters reported. Costco Wholesale Corp. said today that sales at stores open at least a year rose 4 percent last month, below analysts' expectations of a 5.1 percent increase. Sales at the warehouse club chain got help from members who bought its less-expensive gasoline, while demand for electronics was soft. L Brands Inc., the parent company of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, reported a same-store sales gain of 3 percent for July, beating forecasts for a 1.5 percent rise.