Why go from an instantly recognizable logo to generic mark using Helvetica, the most universal typeface, a font, by the way, that is used by competitor American Apparel?
Is this a ploy to engage consumers? Produce an incredibly mediocre design and then ask for more ideas from disgruntled fans... That could be, based on this post from Gap's facebook page:
Thanks for everyone’s input on the new logo! We’ve had the same logo for 20+ years, and this is just one of the things we’re changing. We know this logo created a lot of buzz and we’re thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding! So much so we’re asking you to share your designs. We love our version, but we’d like to see other ideas.
For now they're playing it with a straight face. If they were serious with this logo, however, and it's the best they got from the process, then they overpaid, no matter how little they paid.