Retail FAIL: After RadioShack, who's next?

Remember RadioShack's heyday?
Remember RadioShack's heyday?   

Finding the next RadioShack-like disaster story in retail is almost as easy as pulling up an online mall directory and thinking about which companies no longer stand for anything amid an onslaught of new H&M and Zara stores and fancier-looking Walmart and Target centers.

The oddly slow death of an icon of 1980s malls, RadioShack, sheds light on three basic rules in retail that richly paid execs must follow, or else: Evolve or die, don't spend large sums of money on misguided pet projects and respect the consumer who is yearning to check out something out at a cash register. Not consistently adhering to these rules of retail combat often leads to scattered sales and earnings misses vs. Wall Street's expectations and fleeing shareholders over time.

Read MoreRetail chains that disappeared

There are three retailers that jump to mind as they continue to make such egregious strategic mistakes: former gold standard retailer Sears Holdings, the once popular teen apparel destination Aeropostale, and the first place a giddy 21-year old girl snagged a suit for a job in 1998 New York & Company.

Sears is about to announce some bad news

A former Kmart portrait studio is now used for storage.
Source: Brian Sozzi
A former Kmart portrait studio is now used for storage.

While Walmart expands areas in its giant stores devoted to veggies, meat and fresh fruit, and Target prepares for an Apr. 19 launch of colorful, cheap chic Lily Pulitzer apparel and more organic food, the Sears and Kmart brands are vanishing from the U.S. An alarming number of store closures occurred in 2014, with the company having been on track to shutter a total of 235 locations. An additional 200 store closures are likely to be articulated on the company's pre-recorded fourth quarter earnings release conference call this month as it seeks to reduce structural costs and variable expenses to preserve dwindling cash.

Read MoreOp-ed: Why RadioShack's demise is a good thing

But the announcement of more store closures in rural outskirts may take a backseat to a cash raise from Sears either in the form of high yield debt, large scale asset sales or the renting of space inside its two-level stores to outside retailers.

"In the next six to 12 months, we intend to work with our lenders and others to evaluate our capital structure with a goal of achieving more long-term flexibility," said Sears EVP and CFO Robert A. Schriesheim on an Aug. 12 earnings call with analysts.

Aeropostale may only have one holiday season left

Years of mismanagement, headlined by an obsession with placing the chain's bulldog logo on cheaply priced hoodies and t-shirts that sent fickle teens visiting fast-fashion retailers, and an ill-conceived kids venture, has left Aeropostale in dire financial straits. In January, Aeropostale shut the doors at 126 P.S. from Aeropostale kid's apparel locations. The company essentially finished an initial store closing campaign that scrubbed out 175 locations last year. As for this year, Aeropostale is targeting another 50-75 store closures as it tries to preserve cash and remain opened at only the best malls in the country.

Read MoreInvestors bet on RadioShack default as loss grows

Closing nearly 100 stores this year may not be enough to save Aeropostale beyond holiday season 2015 due to evaporating cash flow amid deep losses. Further, the company has already sought out a $150 million credit lifeline from private equity firm Sycamore Partners. What will likely allow Aeropostale to have a holiday season this year is its $230 million credit revolver, which was undrawn as of early December.

New York & Company is a slow bleed out

A fresh credit agreement and shiny new corporate offices in New York City would make it appear that all is well at the apparel retailer known for its career attire for women at entry-level prices. However, dig deeper and there exists a company still reluctant to shrink its 500-strong store base (while continuing to open stores and outlets), mired in price wars with fast-fashion retailers and trying to contend with a shift to athleisure from the likes of Nike and Lululemon being the daily uniform of choice for women.

Read MoreWho may buy some RadioShack stores

All of this shows up in the financials. Comparable store sales for the nine months ended Nov. 1, 2014 decreased 1.1 percent, compared to an increase of 1.0 percent a year earlier. New York & Company's operating loss more than doubled year-over-year to $9.2 million.

Although not at risk of imminent demise, New York & Company's now flawed business model is likely to lead to a slow bleed out in terms of sales, margin and cash flow performances. Dare I say that it more closely resembles a RadioShack poised to enter the scrapheap of failed retailers?

Commentary by Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi.

Disclosure: Neither Brian Sozzi nor Belus Capital Advisors own shares of any of the stocks mentioned here.