Beginning this week, Nielsen SoundScan has altered the way it categorizes independent retailers, a move that will shift regional chains into the same category with small stores. The move will likely give the indie retailers more clout in the market.

The new realignment will affect 21 retailers operating 213 stores. Billboard estimates that the stores involved in the switch comprise about 1.5%-2% of U.S. marketshare.

Previously, SoundScan counted independents has having four or less stores, a system that categorized large regional chains like Newbury Comics alongside larger chains like Best Buy.

With the re-categorization, regional and local chains like Value Music, Gallery of Sound, Bull Moose, Grey Whale, Rasputin, and La Gran Discoteca will now be counted as independents.

Meanwhile, webs like Hastings Entertainment and Trans World Entertainment will remain a part of the chain category, which also includes merchants like Barnes & Noble, Borders and Best Buy.