Apple's new Chongqing store shown off in photos ahead of Saturday opening

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Local media have been given access to Apple's new retail outlet in Chongqing, Southwest China, a day before its official opening and photos of the new store depict an expansive underground space not unlike the company's flagship location on Fifth Avenue.

A staircase contained within a large above-ground glass cylinder snakes its way down into one side of the shop as a glass elevator passes through the middle, as shown in a series of images from Chinese blog MacX. Unlike some other Apple Stores, such as the flagship IFC location in Hong Kong, there is no sitting area underneath the staircase.

The ceiling appears to be finished in long aluminum panels. Lighting is placed in the gaps between the panels, providing unbroken troughs of light throughout the length of the store.

The store features multiple large accessory walls, and appears to be just a single level underground. Large cylindrical columns sheathed in what appears to be stainless steel provide support for the roof.

The Chongqing outlet is one of 5 new stores that will open between New Year's Day and China's Lunar New Year, which falls on Feb. 19. Apple plans to increase the number of Apple Stores in China to 40 by mid-2016.