Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:32AM
Almost one fifth of Britain's shops on high streets are now at risk of closure within less than a month, raising concerns that the country could head to an economic shutdown in the near future. An extraordinary 1,400 shops on high streets are reportedly facing closure and if none of them are reoccupied, an unusual 19 percent of Britain's shop premises will stand blank. The high streets closed the curtains on a sluggish week this Saturday with the shocking news of entertainment retailers Blockbuster and HMV joining the roll call of high street retailers forced into administration. This comes as analysts are warning of even further casualties which could put more jobs at risk in a recession-scarred economy. New figures by Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed Britain's retail sales dropped by 0.1 percent in December, which is the second most sluggish annual growth for a December in 15 years. Earlier last week, the credit ratings agency Fitch warned the British Chancellor George Osborne that the country could fall out of its AAA privileged status if he fails to change the current economic situation. MOS/AMR/HE