Wal-Mart Stores Inc is in advanced talks with New York's construction unions to get their backing for its entry into New York City's retail market, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

The retailer's talks with the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York could lead to Wal-Mart using union labor to build its first New York stores, even though it would use nonunion workers to staff the stores, the Journal said.

Wal-Mart has been courting the building trades, pledging to use union labor for any new construction, among other concessions, the Journal said, citing multiple people familiar with discussions.

Wal-Mart and the building trades have discussed our common interest in stimulating local economic development in the city, spokesman Steven Restivo said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters. We do not have an agreement, but look forward to a continued dialogue.

The Trades Council, in Albany, New York, was not immediately available outside ordinary business hours.

Wal-Mart has no stores in New York City, while rival discounter Target Corp penetrated the Manhattan market with a store in Harlem earlier this year after 13 years of trying to open the site.

Wal-Mart has said bringing more stores to urban markets is one of its priorities.

(Reporting by Nick Zieminski, editing by Maureen Bavdek and Diane Craft)