Wal-Mart has admitted it is looking to open a store in New York City - much to the anger of union officials.

The US retail giant insisted shoppers in New York were keen for a Wal-Mart store and said the company was investigating where it can set up an outlet, although there was no imminent announcement on the horizon.

"We do not have a project to announce anywhere within the five boroughs of New York City. However, we know that New Yorkers want to shop and work at Walmart and as a result, we continue to evaluate potential opportunities here," Steven Restivo, Wal-Mart director of community affairs, told just-food.

"New Yorkers want quality jobs and affordable groceries and it remains our goal to be part of the solution."

Reports in the US claimed Wal-Mart was targeting the Gateway II shopping centre, off Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn but Restivo declined to comment.

Unions, concerned about a potential deal at the site, near Spring Creek Towers, are planning to protest in the next 10 days,