The sales area is the combination of a distribution chain (a sales organization and a distribution channel) and a division. Since divisions are not actively used in SAP Retail, however, sales areas are of little significance here and can largely be seen as synonymous with distribution chains.
Just as the purchasing organization plays an important role in calculation schema determination in Purchasing, the sales area (together with the document schema and the customer schema) is used to determine the sales price calculation schema in Sales Pricing.
Each site is assigned one sales area, and therefore one distribution chain as well, permanently ("statically") in site maintenance. The sales organization does not necessarily have to belong to the same company code as the site.
If a site is to be supplied by other sources, you can define (in site maintenance) the sales areas, and therefore distribution chains, via which the site is allowed to procure merchandise.
The "static" sales area determines the sales prices and assortments of a site, and frequently the internal and external presentation, too.
Sales areas appear in all the main sales and distribution documents, including customer inquiries, customer quotations, sales orders, customer outline agreements, deliveries and billing documents.
Sales areas are used for updates in the Sales Information System.