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Card-and-confetti seller Card Factory (LSE: CARD) has moved into reverse gear recently as fears over the UK high street have intensified.

The retailer has fallen 14% from May’s peaks just shy of 440p per share, share pickers electing to book gains after sizeable rises since the start of the year. But I believe the market may be a bit hasty here and reckon Card Factory has what it takes to keep on rising.

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The Wakefield firm can be considered more of a ‘defensive’ selection than much of the broader retail sector, in my opinion. After all, people don’t stop celebrating birthdays, religious holidays and other special occasions during the onset of tough economic conditions.

And on top of this, mounting pressure on consumers’ wallets could play into the FTSE 250 stars hands as shoppers turn away from the more expensive items on offer at rivals like Clinton Cards and WH Smith.

My faith was reinforced by Card Factory’s May trading statement, in which it advised that like-for-like sales growth during February-April came in at the upper end of its targeted range of between 1% and 3%.

A stock for tough times

The City certainly believes the greetings giant has what it takes to keep earnings on an upward path, and predict a fractional rise in the year to January 2018 before accelerating thereafter — a 5% advance is chalked in for fiscal 2019.

These projections result in a forward P/E ratio of 14.6 times, falling inside the widely-considered value region of 15 times or below.

And with Card Factory continuing its ambitious expansion strategy (the company remains on track to open 50 new sites in the current fiscal year alone), I expect profits growth to hit the high notes looking further down the line.

Box office beauty

Movie star Cineworld (LSE: CINE) is another way for investors to navigate the worst that a slowing UK economy can throw up.

For one, I reckon the relatively-cheap price of cinema tickets (and particularly for those on the company’s ‘Cineworld Unlimited’ membership scheme) should stop ticket sales falling off a cliff at home. And the London chain can also look to its sites in Eastern Europe and Israel to mitigate any sales trouble here.

A growing market

While the flood of Tinseltown’s reboots, sequels and spin-offs may not draw acclaim from the critics, the public continues to lap them up like nobody’s business. Indeed, Cineworld saw total box office revenues jump 15.9% between January 1 and May 11.

And the experts do not expect our love affair with the silver screen to end any time soon. Phil Stokes, UK head of entertainment and media at PwC, told The Guardian last month that British box office admissions are likely to rise from 172m last year to hit 179m by 2021.

The Square Mile’s legion of brokers expects Cineworld’s earnings to grow 9% and 8% in 2017 and 2018 respectively, leaving the business dealing on a P/E ratio of 18.4 times. I reckon this is great value given its strength in a still-expanding market, not to mention its exciting site opening programme.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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