Fashion spending by female teenagers is up 16 percent from last year, according to research firm Piper Jaffray & Co., which recently released the results of its 11th biannual survey on teen spending habits and retail brand perceptions, titled “Taking Stock With Teens.” The survey also found that teenagers as a whole continue to spend a significant amount of money on fashion, as it “represents 43 percent of the total teen budget.” Piper’s retail analyst team surveyed approximately 700 teens across North America in March. Specialty retailers continue to be the favored shopping channel for female students, as those stores represent 45 percent of the “shopping channel preferences” vote this spring season. Which women’s retailers do these adolescents consider to be the coolest and trendiest?

Tomorrow’s WWDList will feature the favorites – those that scored highest with teens (who ranked stores on a scale from 1 — “trendy” — to 5 — “out of style.”). This Web Exclusive WWDList gives a sneak peek of the list’s bottom half, ranked 13 through 20.

Trendiness Quotient: 2.85
This lifestyle retailer is dominating the action-related apparel market. Zumiez, which offers apparel, footwear, equipment and accessories to males and females between ages 12 and 24, offers brands such as Billabong, Quiksilver and Roxy, as well as its own private label apparel and equipment. WWD reported last month a 59.3 percent increase in fourth quarter profits, along with the company’s plans to open 42 more stores this year. According to president and ceo Rick Brooks, “Zumiez has succeeded as a highly differentiated retail concept by bringing the feel of an independent action sports shop to the mall.”

Trendiness Quotient: 2.87

Gap Inc.’s lowest price point brand is also one of its better performing brands, especially for the young women’s junior market. Its trendy styles and clever advertising have made Old Navy a household name, and the company was ranked eighth this month on WWD’s Top 10 retail Web sites for apparel purchases. The company reports three new stores opening at the end of this month; Coconut Point in Estero, Fl., in the Providence Marketplace in Mt. Juliet, Tenn, and also in Handford, Calif.

Trendiness Quotient: 2.90

As part of the new era in fashionable discount retailing, Isaac Mizrahi has been able to help position the Target brand in this week’s trendy top 20. The retailer reported last month its launch of Target Bath & Body, 20 unique beauty brands influenced by beauty rituals and natural ingredients from different countries. WWD reported this week a new Target opening alongside Neiman Marcus at Westfield Topanga. Said Peter Lowy, Westfield Group’s group managing director, “Consumers shop in up-market stores and they shop in very well run stores that give them value. Target has hit that sweet spot. The same customer that shops at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom shops at Target.”

16. GAP
Trendiness Quotient: 2.93

The past year has been tough for Gap stores, with lower profits and much criticism. In an effort to improve the bottom line, one of the steps Gap Inc. is taking is towards expansion. This week, WWD reported on a franchise agreement between Gap and the luxury retailing company Al Tayer Group, which plans to open 25 Gap stores in the Middle East by 2010. The company also announced earlier this month the expansion of its newest women’s apparel concept, Forth & Towne, to 5 new markets: Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco/San Jose and Seattle.

Trendiness Quotient: 2.94

Aeropostale appeared in February’s WWD List of the top ten largest apparel, accessories and cosmetics companies ranked by market capitalization in Manhattan. Offering casual clothing that keeps up with the trends, Aeropostale dominates the female juniors’ market with its fashionable accessories and affordable prices. The company recently bought Jimmy’Z, a much trendier “California lifestyle” brand for fashion-aware women and men aged 18-to-25 years.

18. D.E.M.O.
Trendiness Quotient: 2.98

An “Urban Contemporary” lifestyle brand, d.e.m.o. offers brands that include Sean John, Rocawear, Akademiks and Baby Phat. The hip-hop apparel chain, based in California, announced in the beginning of last month its plans to expand its brand offering to those such as Adidas. Its owner, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. opened One Thousand Steps last week, which focuses on footwear.

19. KOHL’S
Trendiness Quotient: 3.19

Another discount retailer breaking into the “trendy” apparel market, Kohl’s currently competes with department stores such as J.C. Penney and Sears. The company offers a number of its own private label brands such as Bodysource — scented bath products and sets for Juniors. Last month, Kohl’s announced its strategic alliance with J.P. Morgan Chase, in which Chase purchased Kohl’s private label credit card accounts.

Trendiness Quotient: 3.21

While its competitors are all being eaten up by Federated Department Stores, J.C. Penney is undergoing major internal changes. This month, WWD reported both a “360-degree turnaround in Penney’s beauty strategy” and the launch of its new women’s apparel brand called E. 5th. This fall, J.C. Penney will begin to offer brands sold at Sephora, who will become the exclusive online beauty products seller on Penney’s Web site. The E. 5th concept targets four lifestyles, one being trendy, for the “shopper looking for the latest styles who will push the envelope.”

For the complete WWDList, see tomorrow’s WWD.

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